United States v. Courtade

Amicus Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Defendant-Appellant and Reversal

Brief filed: 12/19/2018


United States v. Courtade

4th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 18-6150

Prior Decision

2017 WL 6397105 (E.D. Va. Dec. 13, 2017)


The Supreme Court has long held that guilty pleas are not absolute, and plea agreement appeal waivers do not foreclose a claim of actual innocence. Courtade makes a claim of actual innocence that lies beyond the scope of the plea agreement appeal waiver. Prudential consideration support permitting a collateral attack in these circumstances despite the appeal waiver.


Jonathan L. Marcus, Paul M. Kerlin, Shekida Smith, Ryan Travers, and Jeongu Gim, Washington, DC; Elizabeth Franklin-Best, NACDL, Columbia, SC.lto, CA.

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