Hangley Aronchick associate Kyle Victor, alongside the New York Office of the Appellate Defender and Davis Polk & Wardwell, recently argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of his client, Sean Baker, who is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life due to ineffective assistance of counsel.

Prior to his trial in 2010, Mr. Baker rejected a plea bargain offered by the Bronx County prosecutor. Following his conviction, Mr. Baker’s lawyer did nothing to advocate for a lenient sentence, despite the fact that Mr. Baker played a limited role in the underlying offense, was just 17 years old at the time of the offense and came from an extremely disadvantaged background. In the absence of any advocacy on Mr. Baker’s behalf, the trial judge imposed a sentence of 20 years to life, which was substantially greater than the statutory minimum sentence of fifteen years to life.

Kyle argued that the Second Circuit should reverse a district court decision denying Mr. Baker’s petition for habeas corpus, vacate his sentence and remand the case to the state court for resentencing with the benefit of adequate counsel.