Home Menu ↓
Clicking on our sponsor links helps insure continued free access to this website.
Please support our efforts by visiting our sponsors:


Cullen v. Pinholster

Docket No.: 09-1088
Certiorari Granted: 06/14/10
Argued: November 9, 2010
Decided: 04/04/11


Death Penalty, Sixth Amendment, habeas, habeas corpus, ineffective assistance of counsel, murder, res judicata

PartyNames: Vincent Cullen, Acting Warden v. Scott Lynn Pinholster
Petitioner: Vincent Cullen, Acting Warden
Respondent: Scott Lynn Pinholster

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: 590 F.3d 651
Supreme Court Docket

Vincent Cullen, Acting Warden
Scott Lynn Pinholster
Question Presented:

1. Whether a federal court may reject a state-court adjudication of a petitioner's claim as "unreasonable" under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and thus grant habeas corpus relief, based on a factual predicate for the claim that the petitioner could have presented to the state court but did not. 2. Whether a federal court may grant relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on a claim that trial counsel in a capital case ineffectively failed to produce mitigating evidence of organic brain damage and a difficult childhood because counsel, who consulted with a psychiatrist who disclaimed any such diagnosis, as well as with petitioner and his mother, did not seek out a different psychiatrist and different family members.


Can a federal court overturn a state criminal conviction on the basis of facts the defendant could have alleged, but did not, in state court?

Cullen v. Pinholster


Listen to Oral Argument in Cullen v. Pinholster
Holding: reversed
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
Database Connection failed: SQLSTATE[HY000] [1045] Access denied for user 'restauz8_sophi'@'localhost' (using password: YES)