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Pinholster v. Ayers, No. 03-99003

By FindLaw Staff on December 10, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In a capital habeas matter, grant of petitioner's habeas petition is affirmed where defense counsel provided petitioner ineffective assistance at the penalty phase because: 1) petitioner properly challenged the district court's legal conclusions, as opposed to its factual ones; 2) counsel spent almost no time preparing for the penalty phase hearing; 3) counsel failed to obtain any of the readily available medical, psychological, law enforcement, or school records for petitioner or his siblings; and 4) properly presented evidence of petitioner's brain injury, and its profound effect on his behavior, could have altered the jury's impressions of his detrimental guilt phase testimony and of his boastful, disrespectful demeanor by indicating an organic basis for his inappropriate expressions and for his tendency to exaggerate his past.

Read Pinholster v. Ayers, No. 03-99003

Appellate Information

Filed December 9, 2009


Opinion by Judge Fisher


For Petitioner:

Sean K. Kennedy, Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles, CA

For Respondent:

Kristofer Jorstad, Deputy Attorney General, Los Angeles, CA

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