Gardner v. United States, No. 10-1576 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Officers, responding to an assault in progress, saw defendant, who voluntarily submitted to a pat down. A pistol was found in his coat pocket. Charged possession of a firearm by a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), defendant insisted that the police had planted the gun. His lawyer believed that he could not argue that the firearm was the fruit of an unreasonable search. Following his conviction, defendant brought a collateral proceeding under 28 U.S.C. 2255, claiming ineffective assistance in that his attorney did not move to suppress the firearm as the product of an unreasonable and did not explain to defendant that his testimony at a suppression hearing could not be used at trial as evidence of his guilt. The district court rejected the petition. The Seventh Circuit reversed. Defendant’s insistence that the police planted the gun neither justified nor compelled counsel to refrain from challenging the search that produced the weapon. The court remanded for determination of whether defendant was prejudiced by that failure.