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Pereida-Alba v. Coursey

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-29-2012
Case #: A146174
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146174.pdf

Post-Conviction Relief: Defense counsel's failure to request a jury instruction on a lesser-included offense is demonstrative of a lack of professional skill and is prejudicial to the client.

Defendant appealed a judgment granting post-conviction relief in the form of a new trial to Pereida-Alba after being convicted for first-degree robbery. Relief was granted because the post-conviction court found that no reasonable defense counsel would have failed to request a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of third-degree robbery, and that the absence of this instruction prejudiced Pereida-Alba. The Court of Appeals found that the post-conviction court could have rationally inferred that the defense counsel did not request the instruction because she did not consider this as an option, demonstrating lack of professional skill and judgment. The Court further reasoned that since the jury did not have a complete explanation of the law, this could have impacted how they evaluated the greater offense, and therefore Pereida-Alba was prejudiced by the lack of instruction. Thus, the post-conviction court did not err in granting relief. Affirmed.