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Wiggins v. Smith

Docket No.: 02-311
Certiorari Granted: Nov 18 2002
Argued: March 24, 2003
Decided: June 26, 2003


Right to Counsel, Criminal Procedure, Right to Counsel, AEDPA, Campaign Finance Reform, Death Penalty, First Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Wiggins claim, capital murder, death penalty, habeas, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel, murder, stare decisis

PartyNames: Kevin Wiggins v. Sewall Smith, Warden, et al.
Petitioner: Kevin Wiggins
Respondent: Sewall Smith, Warden, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Citation: CA 4, 288 F.3d 629. QUESTIONS PRESENTED In this case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held thatunder 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254(d)(I), a state cour t application of esta blished federal law will satisfy the "objectively reasonable" standard of review set forth in Williams v.Taylor, 529 U.S. 362 (2000), so long as it is "minimally consistent with the facts and circumstances of the case." The questions presented are: 1. Does the Due Process standard of Jackson v. Virginia require a court to consider"all of the evidence" in deciding whether a reasonable factfind er could have found guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, as this Co urt held in Jackson and the First, Fifth and Seventh Circuits have likewise held, or may a conviction based entirely oncircumstantial evidence be upheld under Jackson by co nsidering only the evidence
Lower Court Decision
Supreme Court Docket

Kevin Wiggins
Sewall Smith, Warden, et al.
539 U.S. 510 (2003)
Consideration Limited:

Limited to question 2 presented by the petition.


Does a criminal defendant's attorneys' failure to investigate his background and present mitigating evidence of his unfortunate life history at his capital sentencing proceedings constitute ineffective assistance of counsel?

Wiggins v. Smith

March 24, 2003

Holding: reversed and remanded
Decision: Decision: 7 votes for Wiggins, 2 vote(s) against
Vote: 9-0

Wiggins v. Smith
Case Documents

1Opinion in Wiggins v. Smith
2Opinion in Wiggins v. Smith
Additional documents for this case are pending review.