Hudson v. Lashbrook, No. 16-3152 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Awaiting trial on state charges for armed robbery and unlawful restraint, Hudson's public defender advised that he faced a sentence of six-60 years. He rejected a plea deal that offered 16 years. Hudson was convicted. At sentencing, it was discovered that his criminal history including convictions for murder, armed robbery, burglary, felony theft, and felony drug possession. Hudson received a mandatory natural life sentence without the possibility of parole. After exhausting state appeals, Hudson filed a federal habeas action, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court issued the writ, ordering the state to reoffer Hudson the original plea deal. Hudson accepted a plea deal for attempted armed robbery, to avoid a mandatory life sentence. The judge declined to rule, stating that she had no jurisdiction because “orders from the Appellate Court … suggested all issues addressed by this Court were correct, and … nothing from the Federal Court that suggests otherwise.” The original sentence had not been vacated; the new agreement was contrary to Illinois law, in suggesting that Hudson plead guilty to an offense that he was not convicted of. The judge stated that she would have rejected the plea deal even if she were considering it for the first time, considering Hudson’s criminal history. Hudson’s state court appeal remains pending. Hudson filed a federal “motion to enforce” that sought his immediate release. The district judge denied the motion. The Seventh Circuit dismissed an appeal for lack of jurisdiction. State prosecutors complied with the original writ, but a state judge refused to accept the deal. Hudson received all the relief he sought in his first habeas action.