Kennedy v. PrimackAnnotate this Case
In 2012, Esther Primack entered a non-negotiated guilty plea to second degree cruelty to children based on her failure to seek medical treatment for her four-year-old daughter after Primack’s boyfriend had broken the child’s leg. Primack was sentenced to ten years in prison. In 2015, Primack filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in which she argued that her plea counsel was ineffective in several respects and that her guilty plea was not entered knowingly and voluntarily because she did not understand the meaning of “criminal negligence” when she entered her plea. The habeas court granted relief to Primack on her claims of ineffective assistance and on her claim that she had not entered her guilty plea knowingly and voluntarily. Kathleen Kennedy, in her capacity as warden, appealed that ruling. After review, the Georgia Supreme Court found that the habeas court properly granted relief to Primack on the ground that she did not enter her guilty plea knowingly and voluntarily, and affirmed the habeas court’s ruling on that basis alone. The Supreme Court did not address the habeas court’s ruling on the ineffectiveness of her plea counsel.