Commonwealth v. Clarke

Defendant appealed the denial of his second motion for a new trial in which he sought to vacate guilty pleas he entered in 2005, on the ground that he was deprived of his right of effective assistance of counsel, as that right had recently been explicated in Padilla v. Kentucky. At issue was whether Padilla applied retroactively to defendant's collateral challenge to his convictions and, if so, whether he had demonstrated that he was prejudiced by counsel's shortcomings. The court held that Padilla did apply retroactively on collateral review of guilty pleas obtained after the enactment of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546. The court also held that defendant had made an insufficient showing that had he been properly informed of the immigration consequences of his guilty pleas, there was a reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different. Therefore, the court affirmed the denial of defendant's motion for a new trial.