Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Emily Garcia Uhrig (McGeorge School of Law) previews today's argument at ACSBlog. In part:
While the state courts' factual finding that defense counsel's decision not to investigate evidence of his mental deficiencies was tactical may qualify as "unreasonable" under § 2254(d)(2), it may be a more difficult task to rebut that finding by clear and convincing evidence under § 2254(e)(1), particularly where defense counsel, themselves no longer recall their own decision-making. Thus, for Mr. Wood and others like him, the availability of habeas relief - a literal matter of life or death - may ultimately turn on the level of deference given to state court factual findings, as articulated by the relationship between these two statutory provisions.