Loss of Hope for Those with Old Criminal Convictions in MN

The Minnesota Supreme Court announced that individuals who were not advised of the immigration consequences of their criminal convictions prior to pleading guilty could NOT petition to have their guilty pleas withdraw pursuant to the ruling by the Supreme Court in Padilla if their pleas happened before the date of that decision. Reversing the Appellate Court decision, the Court today announced in Campos v. Minnesota that the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky (2010) announced a new rule of criminal procedure that is not applicable retroactively to cases on collateral review.

The Court, in a spectacularly badly reasoned decision, completely ignored the fact that the Court in Padilla based its decision on the inextricable link between effective assistance of counsel and accurate advice regarding immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Effective assistance of counsel is a constitutional right, not a mere rule of criminal procedure.

Although the Minnesota Supreme Court’s misguided decision is a significant blow to those who entered their guilty pleas either blindly or with incorrect information about the immigration consequences of their pleas, this case is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.