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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
November 5, 2012

2012 CO 63. No. 10SC424. Hagos v. People.
Crim.P. 35(c) Postconviction Proceedings—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Plain Error Review.

The Supreme Court held that a determination on direct appeal that instructional error did not constitute plain error does not control a determination of prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 684-86 (1984), because the two standards are not the same. The plain error standard requires that an error impair the reliability of the judgment of conviction to a greater degree than the Strickland prejudice standard. Hagos’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim, nonetheless, failed under the separate, fact-specific Strickland analysis. Thus, the Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment, albeit on different grounds.

2012 CO 64. No. 09SC846. Villarreal v. People.
Crim.P. 35(c) Postconviction Proceedings—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Plain Error Review.

The Supreme Court, employing the reasoning of Hagos v. People, 2012 CO 63 (No. 10SC424), affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. The Court held that a determination on direct appeal that instructional error did not constitute plain error does not control a determination of prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 684-86 (1984), because the two standards are not the same. The plain error standard requires that an error impair the reliability of the judgment of conviction to a greater degree than the Strickland prejudice standard. Villarreal’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim, nonetheless, failed under the separate, fact-specific Strickland analysis.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

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