Hardy v. Chappell, No. 13-56289 [August 11, 2016]
what the Court describes as not a close question it grants Hardy’s petition for
writ of habeas corpus. The Court found that the California Supreme Court’s
decision was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly
established law. It was uncontested that
his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to investigate and present
evidence that a third party was the likely actual killer. On the prejudice factor, the Court found that here the state
court used the failure to show prejudice by a preponderance of the evidence
standard rather than by a reasonable probability of a different result
standard, therefore, contrary to clearly established federal law. The state
court created a much higher bar for Hardy than the law required, thereby, applying
a standard contrary to clearly established federal
law. Based on a de novo review the Court found that Hardy was clearly
prejudiced in the guilty phase by his lawyer's
deficient performance and reversed.
SEE the amended opinion here amended on January 27, 2017, with a petition for rehearing denied.