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United States v. Denedo
United States Supreme Court
129 S. Ct. 2213 (2009)
In 1998, Jacob Denedo (defendant), a Nigerian citizen and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was charged with conspiracy, larceny, and forgery. On the advice of counsel, Denedo, a member of the navy, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for a referral to a special court-martial. Denedo appealed the sentence imposed by the special court-martial as too harsh. The Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA) affirmed the sentence, and Denedo did not appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began deportation proceedings against Denedo because of his court-martial conviction. Denedo filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis with the NMCCA, arguing that his guilty plea was the result of ineffective assistance of counsel. The NMCCA ruled that it had jurisdiction to consider Denedo’s petition but denied the petition on its merits. Denedo appealed, and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces agreed that the NMCCA had jurisdiction to issue the writ and remanded the case for further proceedings on the merits. The government appealed, arguing that the military courts do not have jurisdiction to consider a writ of coram nobis concerning a final judgment of conviction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Roberts, C.J.)
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