THE STATE OF
In The Supreme Court
George Langford Douglas, Petitioner,
South Carolina, Respondent.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
Edward B. Cottingham, Trial Judge
Kenneth G. Goode, Post-Conviction Judge
Opinion No. 26173
Submitted April 19, 2006 - Filed June 20, 2006
Frank Anthony Barton, of
West Columbia, for Petitioner.
Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, all of Columbia, for Respondent.
JUSTICE PLEICONES: Petitioner’s counsel, exercising professional judgment, determined that there was no basis upon which to seek a writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision affirming petitioner’s direct appeal. Petitioner then brought this post-conviction relief (PCR) action. Following an evidentiary hearing, the PCR judge held petitioner was entitled to seek belated discretionary review of his direct appeal. We granted certiorari, and now reverse.
Whether the circuit court erred in granting relief where petitioner’s direct appeal attorney did not to pursue discretionary review?
The PCR judge granted petitioner the right to seek a belated writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision on direct appeal under the mistaken belief that such a result was compelled by our decision in White v. State, 263 S.C. 110, 208 S.E.2d 35 (1974). As we explained in Poston v. State, 339 S.C. 37, 528 S.E.2d 422 (2000) and in Legge v. State, 349 S.C. 222, 562 S.E.2d 618 (2002), White v. State is limited to situations where the PCR applicant did not knowingly and intelligently waive his right to a direct appeal. Petitioner, of course, was afforded this right.
We decline to impose a duty on appellate counsel to pursue rehearing and/or certiorari following the decision of the Court of Appeals in a criminal direct appeal. The imposition of such a duty would conflict with this Court’s explanation in In re Exhaustion of State Remedies in Criminal and Post-Conviction Relief Cases, 321 S.C. 563, 471 S.E.2d 454 (1990), that the Court of Appeals was created to reduce the State’s appellate backlog. A holding that certiorari must be sought whenever requested would increase this Court’s workload by increasing the number of criminal writs of certiorari to the Court of Appeals. This Court “reviews [Court of Appeals] decisions by writ of certiorari only where special reasons justify exercise of that power.”
The PCR order finding petitioner was entitled to relief is
TOAL, C.J., MOORE, WALLER and BURNETT, JJ., concur.
 We overrule Poston to the extent it may be read to hold that a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel may be made against an attorney involved in pursuing certiorari after a direct appeal.
An individual has no constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel when seeking discretionary appellate review. Wainwright v. Torna, 455