Premo v. Moore, 562 U.S. 115 (Jan. 19, 2011)

The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit, which had held that the state court unreasonably applied existing law when rejecting the defendant’s claim that counsel was ineffective by failing to file a motion to suppress the defendant’s confession to police before advising him to accept a plea offer. Counsel had explained that he discussed the plea bargain with the defendant without first challenging the confession to the police because suppression would serve little purpose given that the defendant had made full and admissible confessions to two other private individuals, both of whom could testify. The state court would not have been unreasonable to accept this explanation. Furthermore, the Court held, the state court reasonably could have determined that the defendant would have accepted the plea agreement even if his confession had been ruled inadmissible. Justice Kagan did not participate in the consideration or decision of the case.