Professional Responsibility Keyed to Hazard
Strickland v. Washington
Washington (Plaintiff) planned and committed three brutal stabbing murders, along with other crimes and then he surrendered to police, voluntarily confessing to the third murder. Against the advice of counsel, Plaintiff also confessed to the first two murders, waived his right to a jury trial, pleaded guilty to all charges, and waived his right to an advisory jury at his capital sentencing hearing. At that hearing, counsel did not present psychiatric evidence, choosing to emphasize Plaintiff’s remorse and acceptance of responsibility. The trial judge sentenced Plaintiff to death. The Florida Supreme Court upheld the convictions. Plaintiff sought collateral relief for alleged ineffective assistance of counsel at his sentencing hearing. The district court found no prejudice from any errors in judgment made by counsel. The court of appeals reversed and remanded. The Supreme Court granted certiorari
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