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in a unanimous decision, the justices reversed a 2d Circuit decision that held that a man convicted of murder had procedurally defaulted and could not move the trial court to vacate his conviction on ineffective-assistance grounds because he had already directly appealed the conviction on evidentiary grounds. Massaro v. U.S., No. 01-1559. When initially appealing the admission of a late-discovered piece of evidence that was not disclosed by the prosecution until after the trial started, the defendant’s new lawyer also failed to challenge the first attorney’s effectiveness. The prior attorney declined a trial court offer for a continuance to examine that late-discovered evidence before it was admitted. Reversing and remanding, the justices argued that forcing defendants to bring ineffective-assistance claims on direct appeal would create a risk that defendants would feel compelled to bring such claims before there has been an opportunity fully to develop the claim’s factual predicate before the district court. Kennedy wrote the court’s opinion.

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