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Cullen v. Pinholster

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

Topics:

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
v.
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.

Question:

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
ORAL ARGUMENT

11/09/10

Listen to Oral Argument in Cullen v. Pinholster
Holding: reversed
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
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