Flores-Salazar v. Franke

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 10-01-2014
  • Case #: A151198
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Failure to request a jury instruction for a lesser offense does not necessarily entail inadequate assistance of counsel, particularly when accompanied by a strong defense and as part of a tactical decision.

Flores-Salazar (Petitioner) was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and sought post-conviction relief. Petitioner argued he received inadequate assistance of counsel when his lawyer failed to request a jury instruction for lesser offenses which may have led to a reduced prison sentence. Petitioner was denied relief by the post-conviction court and appealed. The Court held Petitioner’s counsel “made a conscious, tactical decision not to request a lesser-included offense instruction in favor of pursuing full acquittal. This was a rational exercise of professional judgment, particularly considering Petitioner’s counsel gave a strong defense and requesting a lesser jury instruction would have reduced the chance of a full acquittal. Affirmed.

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