District Judge James Singleton
Petitioner filed for habeas relief challenging his conviction for first degree rape. In his direct appeals, petitioner challenged the trial court’s refusal to provide him all the victim’s mental health records and precluded him from preparing and presenting his fabrication defense, in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. In his petition, petitioner asserted his innocence and alleged he was subject to an unlawful search and seizure, gave an involuntary statement, had his due process, speedy trial, and confrontation rights violated, had ineffective assistance of counsel, and was subjected to a harsh and excessive sentence. Although the court found insufficient evidence to support petitioner’s claim of innocence, it ruled that he had raised a colorable claim for relief in alleging that the trial court erroneously failed to disclose portions of the victim’s mental health records relevant to her credibility. The court agreed with the dissenting judges in petitioner’s direct appeals that credibility was central to the case as there was evidence supporting petitioner’s version of events, such that denial of the victim’s mental health records implicated petitioner’s Confrontation Clause rights. The court held that petitioner’s other claims warranted no relief.