In Garza v. Idaho, the Supreme Court resolved a split in authority about whether courts should presume counsel prejudiced a criminal defendant’s case when counsel failed to file a notice of appeal, holding the presumption of prejudice applies regardless of a defendant’s appeal waiver. By correctly extending Roe v. Flores-Ortega’s rule which requires courts to presume prejudice, the Court expanded the presumption’s application for ineffective assistance of counsel claims under the Sixth Amendment.

Overall, Garza protected a defendant’s right to appeal despite an appeal waiver, as counsel must now act on the defendant’s appeal request. If counsel fails to file a notice of appeal, defendants have a lower burden in proving counsel’s ineffective assistance after Garza. The decision, however, may decrease the leniency and finality of plea bargain sentencings because of the likely increase in appeals.

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