Attorneys Negligent Failure to Correct Excessive Sentence
If we follow the majority's analysis to its logical conclusion, the end result is that an indigent criminal defendant has lost his opportunity to appeal a sentence he contends is unlawful, because both his appointed trial and appellate counsel failed to perform "in a manner to be expected of reasonably competent attorneys acting as diligent advocates." ( People v. Pope (1979) 23 Cal. 3d 412, 425 [152 Cal. Rptr. 732, 590 P.2d 859, 2 A.L.R.4th 1].)
Under the majority's view, if appellant's sentence is in fact unlawfully excessive, the fact that his attorneys may have negligently failed to take the necessary action to correct it does not constitute good cause for relief.
An indigent criminal defendant is constitutionally entitled to the effective assistance of counsel ( Strickland v. Washington (1984) 466 U.S. 668, 685-686 [104 S. Ct. 2052, 2063, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674]; In re Harris (1993) 5 Cal. 4th 813, 832 [21 Cal. Rptr. 2d 373, 855 P.2d 391]; People v. Pope, supra, 23 Cal. 3d at pp. 421-426), both at trial and on appeal ( In re Smith (1970) 3 Cal. 3d 192, 202-203 [90 Cal. Rptr. 1, 474 P.2d 969]).