BARGAINING

SCOTUS Upholds Right to Effective Counsel

The Supreme Court decided 5-4 that defendants have a right to effective counsel even during the plea-bargaining process. The decision is expected to expand judges’ supervision of the plea process. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the criminal justice system has become dependent on plea bargaining. Challenges to pleas based on inadequate representation are likely to become more common, the dissenters say.