Ward v. Hall, No. 07-11360
In a capital habeas matter, the denial of the petition as to petitioner's murder conviction is affirmed where: 1) the district court's finding that petitioner was not diligent in gathering evidence was not clearly erroneous and its denial of petitioner's motion for an evidentiary hearing was not an abuse of discretion; and 2) defense counsel's investigation and presentation of mitigation evidence during the sentencing phase of petitioner's trial were well within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance. However, defendant's death sentence is reversed where an improper bailiff-jury communication during the penalty phase violated petitioner's constitutional right to a fair trial and a reliable sentence.
Read Ward v. Hall, No. 07-11360
Filed January 4, 2010
Opinion by Judge Birch
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