Lukens v. Franco

Petitioner David Lukens, Jr. sought habeas relief, claiming he received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The issues he raised before the New Mexico Supreme Court centered on: (1) whether prejudice due to deficient performance of Petitioner’s attorney should be presumed or whether Petitioner had to prove that actual prejudice occurred on direct appeal; and (2) if there was prejudice, whether the remedy should be a new appeal. Although the performance of Petitioner’s appellate counsel on direct appeal (Appellate Counsel) was clearly deficient in certain instances, the Supreme Court held that prejudice may not be presumed because the performance of Appellate Counsel did not deprive Petitioner of his constitutional right to a direct appeal of his conviction. Furthermore, the Court held that Petitioner failed to establish actual prejudice in his direct appeal. Because Petitioner did not establish prejudice, the Court did not reach the question of remedy. Therefore, the Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. View "Lukens v. Franco" on Justia Law