Defense attorneys trying to avoid harsh sentences under “Two Strikes” legislation will find it more difficult to challenge a client’s guilty plea in an earlier case.

In the era of enhanced punishment for a crime based partially on previous convictions, more defendants are contesting those earlier pleas-some a decade old-by saying they weren’t informed of their rights. It had been the state’s job to produce the evidence saying otherwise but a divided state Supreme Court recently shifted the burden to the defendant.

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