Inthavong v. Lamarque,
No. 03-57075 (8-23-05). The 9th (O'Scannlain) wades the "harmless error" waters of AEDPA and Brecht. In a decision regarding the voluntariness of a confession in a state homicide trial, the court holds that the Brecht standard is still applicable; that is, does an error have a substantial effect or influence on the verdict. AEDPA didn't do away with this analysis, but grafted on another test, which is whether the state's application of harmless error was unreasonable. In this case, where the petitioner testified substantially like his previous statement, and another statement was also admitted, the state's decision that any error was harmless was not unreasonable.