Thursday, February 04, 2016

Jordan and Pryor agree...

...that sleeping during a murder trial is not ineffective.  After a strenuous debate earlier in the week (Jordan v. Pryor), we get this per curiam unpublished doozy (Julie Carnes also joined):
We issued a certificate of appealability to address Williams’s argument that “he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to counsel when his counsel allegedly dozed or slept during a part of [his] trial.” Because it was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law for the state trial court to conclude that Williams was not prejudiced by counsel “[falling] asleep a couple of times” while the state replayed a recording of an interview that was cumulative to earlier testimony from the interviewee, we affirm.

Despite Rumpole's objections, the opinion starts with a description of the crime:

When Austin Joseph Paine intercepted burglars in his home, they shot and killed him. Chad Michael Leon afterward overdosed on morphine and checked himself into a hospital, where he implicated himself, Williams, and Randy Carter Jr. in Paine’s murder. Leon later showed officers where in the ocean he had discarded a revolver and a semiautomatic firearm used by Williams and Carter.
 Here's the analysis:
In the absence of controlling precedent, fairminded jurists could disagree about whether a defendant is entitled to a presumption of prejudice because defense counsel, who was otherwise actively engaged in the trial, “fell asleep a couple of times” while the jury listened to a recorded interview that was cumulative to testimony earlier provided by the interviewee.

Wow.  All I have to say is: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Bob Becerra said...

Query: Did the Defendant shake his counsel awake?

Rumpole said...

I'm going to go to OA before the 11th and doze off. Lets see what they say then. It's absolutely ridiculous and horrific for a person to be in prison when his lawyer fell asleep at trial.