Schriro v. Landrigan

NACDL amicus curiae brief in support of respondent.

Brief filed: 12/18/2006


Schriro v. Landrigan

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 05-1575


Respondent Jeffrey Landrigan told the trial court that he did not want his attorney to present any mitigation evidence. On post-conviction review, the state court held as frivolous his ineffective assistance claim in which he asserted that if his lawyer had raised the issue of his alleged genetic predisposition to violence, he would have cooperated in presenting that evidence in mitigation of death; on federal habeas review, the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit unanimously held that the state court made an "unreasonable determination" of the facts when it found that Landrigan instructed his attorney not to present mitigation evidence at the sentencing hearing. Argument: A knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver of the right to present mitigation evidence can only occur if the defendant has received the advice of his counsel, based on counsel’s reasonable investigation.

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Andrew J. Pincus, Mayer Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, with the Yale Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic., et al