Lawyer’s Disappearing Act at Sentencing Gets Do-Over for Client

April 14, 2021, 2:36 PM

A lawyer who didn’t present any mitigating evidence and then let his client do all the talking at his sentencing hearing completely failed to function as an advocate, the Seventh Circuit said.

Jeffrey Raff’s ineffective assistance of Roderick Lewis was so profound, Lewis is entitled to a new sentencing hearing, the opinion by Judge Diane P. Wood said, granting Lewis’ request for a writ of habeas corpus.

Lewis was being sentenced on two felony murder counts when Raff told the judge, “I’m going to defer to Mr. Lewis if he has any comments. I don’t have anything to add.” He ...

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