Kentucky high court weighing plea deal ethics issue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court is weighing whether federal prosecutors can require someone to drop all future appeals of their attorney's performance as part of a plea agreement.

The Kentucky Bar Association issued an ethics advisory opinion in November barring defense attorneys from advising a client about a plea agreement requiring them to waive their right to challenge the attorney's performance at a later date. In the same opinion, the bar association ruled that prosecutors may not propose a plea agreement that requires someone to waive the right to attack a defense attorney's performance on appeal.

The U.S. attorneys in Louisville and Lexington challenged the opinion, saying it could affect plea negotiations.

In Kentucky, ethics opinions that pass muster with the high court are binding on all attorneys in the state.

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