CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ineffective assistance where defense fails to investigate prosecution evidence

From The New York Times:

A federal judge this week threw out the conviction of a 66-year-old Long Island man found guilty in 2008 of molesting his granddaughter and two of her friends after defense lawyers investigated a serial number on the back of a photograph that refuted a key portion of the prosecution’s case.

. . .

First, [habeas counsel] Salpeter found a serial number on the back of the Coney Island photo and learned from Polaroid, which manufactured the film, that it had been taken in 2000, despite B.M.’s testimony and the date on the souvenir frame. In the Halloween photo, one of the girls was wearing a sweatshirt with a logo reading “Princess University.” Mr. Salpeter determined that the brand had not been trademarked until 2000.

Moreover, Mr. Salpeter figured out that the educational toy, Turbo Twister Spelling, was not produced until at least a year after B.M. had claimed to have received one from Mr. Green. He finally determined, with a simple phone call to the show’s producers, that “Law & Order: SVU” was not on the air when B.M. claimed to have seen it.

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I assume there was no Brady/Napue claim? Anyways, this is quite a stretch of Strickland's deficiency prong. Until there is a stand-alone claim of actual innocence, rulings like will continue to surface under the guise of IAC.

Posted by: J.D. | Aug 15, 2013 11:58:29 AM

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