Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Petitioner-Appellant Ron Chris Foster, a Mississippi death-row inmate, appeals the district court’s denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. � 2254 (1994 & Supp. V 1999). He raises three claims on appeal: (1) violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel on the ground that his counsel failed to investigate and to present available mitigating evidence, (2) violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel on the ground that his counsel failed to file a motion to transfer Foster’s case to juvenile court, and (3) violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments’ prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments on the ground that Mississippi does not mandate particularized findings regarding the “maturity and moral culpability” of defendants under eighteen years old before they may be tried and sentenced for a capital offense as an adult. The district court granted Foster’s request for a COA on the first claim, and he requests that this court grant COAs on the other two claims. For the following reasons, we (1) affirm the district court’s judgment denying Foster’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based on the failure to investigate and to present sufficient mitigating evidence, (2) grant a COA on the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim based on the failure to file a motion to transfer to a juvenile court and then affirm the district court’s denial of habeas relief on that claim, and (3) deny Foster’s request for a COA on the Eighth Amendment claim.


On September 8, 1989, a Mississippi grand jury indicted Petitioner-Appellant Ron Chris Foster for the murder of George Shelton in the course of committing armed robbery, a capital offense in Mississippi. See Miss. Code Ann. � 97-3-19(2)(e) (2000).*fn1 Although Foster was only seventeen years old at the time of the alleged offense, and the Mississippi youth courts generally have exclusive jurisdiction over criminal cases brought against anyone under eighteen years of age, see Miss. Code Ann. �� 43-21-105(d), 43-21-151(1) (2000), the state district attorney prosecuted Foster as an adult pursuant to section 43-21-151 of the Mississippi Code, which provides that “[a]ny act attempted or committed by a child, which if committed by an adult would be punishable under state or federal law by life imprisonment or death, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court” rather than the youth court, id. � 43-21-151(1)(a).

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Georgia Legal Awards 2022 (GALA)

June 23, 2022
Atlanta, GA

The Daily Report is honoring those attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Georgia.

Learn More

Pennsylvania Legal Awards 2022 (PALA)

June 29, 2022

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania with their dedication to law.

Learn More

Elite Trial Lawyers 2022 (ETL)

July 14, 2022
New York, NY

The National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers recognizes U.S.-based law firms performing exemplary work on behalf of plaintiffs.

Learn More


McGovern Legal Services, LLC seeks an attorney to join our team at our North Brunswick office working with Condominium Associations, Homeown...

Apply Now ›

Commercial Finance Associate (Flexible location)

Duane Morris LLP seeks two commercial finance associates to join its strong and growing 190+ lawyer Corporate Practice Group. The ideal cand...

Apply Now ›

Public Finance Associate

Cozen O Connor seeks an attorney with at least four years of experience to join the firm s growing multi-state Public Finance practice. This...

Apply Now ›



Lawrence Law LLC congratulates Jeralyn Lawrence, Esq. on her upcoming installation as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association

View Announcement ›



RAYNES & LAWN is Proud to Welcome Next Generation to the Firm

View Announcement ›