The U.S. Department of Justice Memorandum is at the link, thanks to the Wall Street Journal.
"Holder: No Defendant Will Forego Right to ‘Able Representation’," is by Joe Palazzolo for the WSJ Law blog.
The No. 2 Justice Department official told federal prosecutors Tuesday that they should no longer ask criminal defendants who plead guilty to waive their right to later challenge their conviction on the grounds that their lawyers gave them bad legal advice.
James Cole, the deputy attorney general, said in a memorandum that while the department believes such waivers are “both legal and ethical,” the policy change is aimed at promoting consistency among the 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, about a third of which seek waivers of future claims that include ineffective assistance of counsel.
“This new policy reaffirms the commitment by the department’s prosecutors to protecting the right to counsel and enhancing due process,” Mr. Cole said in an emailed statement.
"Feds Roll Out New Right-to-Counsel Policy," is by Mike Scarcella of Legal Times at the National Law Journal.
Federal criminal defendants who plead guilty will no longer be asked to give up future claims that their lawyer was ineffective, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday in a policy shift.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement: "Everyone in this country who faces criminal legal action deserves the opportunity to make decisions with the assistance of effective legal counsel. Under this policy, no defendant will have to forego their right to able representation in the course of pleading guilty to a crime."
"DOJ to amend competent counsel waiver practices as Holder prepares to step down," by Sari Horwitz at the Washginton Post.
Some U.S. attorney’s offices no longer ask defendants to waive their right to make future claims about the effectiveness of their counsel. But before this week, 35 of the Justice Department’s 94 U.S. attorney’s offices still did.
“I am confident in the ability of our outstanding prosecutors to ably and successfully perform their duties without the use of these waivers, as the vast majority of them already do,” Holder said.
The new policy is one of several initiatives Holder wanted to put in place before he steps down as attorney general. Although he announced Sept. 25 that he would resign as soon as a successor was confirmed by the Senate, President Obama is not expected to nominate his pick until after the midterm elections. The individuals who continue to be mentioned as the top contenders for the job include Solicitor General Don Verrilli Jr., former White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.