And so it goes – I’ve been waiting on this decision for a while. I lie, I thought the decision would come from a different case and not this one that I posted about last year in which the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (the intermediate appellate court), just days before Padilla and held, basically, the absolute opposite of Padilla. Not to be outdone by those pesky Supremes who, occassionally get it right, the Court of Special Appeals issued a decision holding that Padilla was not retroactive in Maryland. Ah shucks, time for the Court of Appeals to tell us what to do. So we waited and waited and waited and wrote writs that said that Miller was on Appeal to the high court and we waited.
Last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Denisyuk that Padilla is, in fact retroactive but only to the effective date of that terrible law – the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IRAIRA as it’s known in cool kid immigration speak.) What does this mean for you? Well, if you plead guilty after April 1, 1997 you can use a Padilla based argument in your coram nobis application (assuming you are not on probation or parole or still incarcerated). If your plead before then, you might be SOL.
That’s all folks.