Winward v State

Winward appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction relief petition arguing he was entitled to relief under United States Supreme Court cases involving plea bargaining issued while his first post-conviction relief appeal was pending. The Court affirmed. It held that Utah Code 78B-9-104(1)(f) adopted the federal standard for determining if a new rule is dictated by precedent and thus creates a post-conviction relief cause of action. Here, the Court noted that the cases relied upon by Winward had been given retroactive application by almost all the federal courts to consider the issue. However, the Court held that Supreme Court cases involved were not dictated by precedent as the key point of unfairness to a defendant getting a harsher sentence based on attorney ineffectiveness during pela bargaining was not used in any prior case and indeed the majority only cited a law review article in support. Thus, the cases announced a true new rule and that rule is not applicable in Winward’s collateral proceeding. The Court refused to consider the state’s insufficient factual basis alternate ground as there was a procedural issue as to what the district court could consider in the motion to dismiss and that issue had not been adequately briefed. The Court finally referred Winward’s appellate counsel for discipline as he raised irrelevant issues in his brief, had a history of improper advocacy and prior discipline had not stopped the improper conduct.