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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:

Cullen v. Pinholster
Case Documents

1Cullen v. Pinholster Oral Argument Audio
2Opinion in Cullen v. Pinholster
3Opinion in Cullen v. Pinholster
4Cullen v. Pinholster Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
5Cullen v. Pinholster Oral Argument Audio
6Cullen v. Pinholster Oral Argument Audio
7Cullen v. Pinholster Oral Argument Transcript (HTML)
Additional documents for this case are pending review.