Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

Hardy v. Chappell, No. 13-56289 [August 11, 2016]

Hardy v. Chappell

In 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.

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