United States v. Orocio, No. 10-1231 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant pled guilty to one count of simple possession of a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. 844(a) and his conviction subsequently triggered removal proceedings against him some years later. Defendant filed a petition for writ of error coram nobis to challenge the plea conviction, arguing that his attorney's failure to advise him of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a federal drug charge constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. Having concluded that defendant's petition failed to allege Strickland v. Washington prejudice and hence was deficient as a matter of law, the district court dismissed the petition without conducting an evidentiary hearing. At issue was whether Padilla v. Kentucky, which was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court during the pendency of defendant's appeal, had retroactive applicability. The court held that, because Padilla followed directly from Strickland and long-established professional norms, it was an "old rule" for Teague v. Lane purposes and was retroactively applicable on collateral review. Therefore, the court vacated the judgment of the district court and remanded to that court to decide the case within the framework of Padilla and on the basis of a developed factual record.