In the courts, the guarantee of a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel is a relatively recent development. In Part II, this article presents a brief history of the right to counsel in the United States and the development of a right to effective assistance of counsel. The standard announced by the United States Supreme Court in Strickland V. Washington and some of the criticisms of the Strickland test are also discussed. In Part III, this article discusses exceptions to the Strickland ineffective assistance of counsel test and what those exceptions have in common. In Part IV, this article examines the cases involving ineffective assistance of counsel claims where counsel was sleeping or otherwise mentally impaired. In Part V, this article examines the existing framework of the Strickland test and its exceptions. It specifically addresses the mental impairment cases in the context of this framework and proposes a standard for cases involving sleeping counsel and a standard for cases involving counsel who abuse drugs or alcohol during trial.
Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier,
Drink, Drugs, and Drowsiness: The Constitutional Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel and the Strickland Prejudice Requirement,
75 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol75/iss3/3