X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
in a 7-2 decision, the justices reversed a ruling by the 4th Circuit that held that in a case in which the strategic decisions of trial counsel were reasonable, a capital defendant was not entitled to habeas relief on grounds of ineffective assistance. Wiggins v. Smith, No. 02-311. According to the court, the performance of the defendant’s attorneys at his sentencing violated his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. The attorneys had failed to present mitigating evidence about their client though he had the kind of troubled history that is relevant to the assessment of moral culpability. “[H]ad the jury been confronted with this considerable mitigating evidence, there is a reasonable probability that it would have returned with a different sentence,” O’Connor wrote. Her opinion was joined by Rehnquist, Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer. Scalia’s dissent was joined by Thomas.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.