Savage v. IdahoAnnotate this Case
Petitioner-appellant Melvin Savage was convicted of first-degree arson. He filed a post-conviction petition alleging his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him of his right against self-incrimination during a deposition that took place in a civil lawsuit involving the arson allegation. Following an evidentiary hearing, the district court found that counsel’s failure to advise Savage of his right to remain silent constituted deficient performance; however, Savage failed to prove he was prejudiced by that deficient performance because he was already intent on resolving his criminal case by entering a guilty plea at the time of the civil deposition. Savage unsuccessfully moved for reconsideration. Appealing to the Idaho Supreme Court Savage argued the district court erred by limiting its prejudice analysis to an evaluation of whether Savage would have gone to trial instead of considering whether Savage demonstrated that the outcome of the plea process would have been different with competent advice. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court.