Saturday, September 16, 2006

Frierson v. Woodford, No. 04-99002 (9-14-06). Need a listing of IAC at sentencing? This case provides it. The 9th (Paez) grants habeas sentencing relief as counsel failed to conduct investigation, failed to review prior transcripts, failed to look into mental health, misunderstood the law, misconstrued privileges, and embarked on sentencing strategies that were ill-conceived and woefully executed. Silverman, concurring, would find IAC in the failure of counsel to present evidence that petitioner was innocent of a prior killing when he was still a juvenile. The witness who had made the statements had no privilege against self-incrimination (he had been acquitted), but instead of impeaching, counsel fumbled, got an invocation, that was then limited. Not pretty. To Silverman, this was such a deficiency that the court could have stopped there and not trudge through the other failings.


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