Lafler v. Cooper

132 S.Ct. 1376 (2012)


Cooper (P) pointed a gun toward Mundy's head and fired. The shot missed and Mundy fled. P followed in pursuit, firing repeatedly. Mundy was shot in her buttock, hip, and abdomen but survived the assault. P was charged with intent to murder and three other crimes. The prosecution offered to dismiss two of the charges and to recommend a sentence of 51 to 85 months for the other two, in exchange for a guilty plea. P admitted guilt and expressed a willingness to accept the offer. P later rejected the offer on both occasions, allegedly after his attorney convinced him that the prosecution would be unable to establish his intent to murder Mundy because she had been shot below the waist. On the first day of trial, the prosecution offered a significantly less favorable plea deal, which P again rejected. P was convicted on all counts and received a mandatory minimum sentence of 185 to 360 months' imprisonment. P then argued his attorney's advice to reject the plea constituted ineffective assistance. The trial judge rejected the claim, and the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed; P knowingly and intelligently rejected two plea offers and chose to go to trial. The Michigan Supreme Court denied respondent's application for leave to file an appeal. P then filed a petition for federal habeas relief under 28 U. S. C. §2254, renewing his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim. The District Court granted a conditional writ. To remedy the violation, the District Court ordered: 'specific performance of the original plea agreement, for a minimum sentence in the range of fifty-one to eighty-five months.'  The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.