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Attorney General's News Release

October 28, 2011

Attorney General Koster to argue case before the United States Supreme Court Monday morning

Jefferson City, Mo.— Attorney General Chris Koster on Monday will represent the state of Missouri before the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court case concerns the Constitution’s interpretation of the 6th Amendment’s guarantee of effective assistance of counsel afforded criminal defendants.

In the case, Missouri v. Frye, a defense attorney failed to inform his client, who had been charged with repeatedly driving while his license was revoked, of a plea offer by the prosecution. Soon after that offer expired, Mr. Frye was arrested again (for a fifth time) for driving while revoked. Later, Mr. Frye entered a guilty plea without the benefit of any plea offer, and the court sentenced him to three years in prison.

The question before the Court is whether a counsel’s failure to communicate the plea offer prior to its expiration resulted in representation so substandard as to deny the defendant the constitutional rights afforded him under the 6th Amendment.

Attorney General Koster will aggressively advocate the law-enforcement position espoused by the vast majority of prosecutors across Missouri that Mr. Frye’s conviction should stand, and he should not be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

The Supreme Court will hear Missouri v. Frye from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon EDT on Monday.

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