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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Strickland v. Washington
Citation:466 U.S. 668 (1984)
During a 10-day period in September 1976, respondent planned and committed three groups of crimes, which included brutal stabbing murders, torture, kidnapping and others. After his two accomplices were arrested, respondent surrendered to police and voluntarily gave a lengthy statement confessing to the third of the criminal episodes. The State of Florida indicted respondent for kidnapping and murder and appointed an experienced criminal lawyer to represent him. Counsel decided not to look further for evidence concerning respondent’s character and emotional state. That decision reflected counsel’s sense of hopelessness about overcoming the evidentiary effect of respondent’s confessions to gruesome crimes. Counsel also excluded from the sentencing hearing other evidence he thought was potentially damaging. After sentence of death, respondent sought collateral relief in state court on numerous grounds, among them that counsel had rendered ineffective assistance at the sentencing proceeding.
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