Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

Elmore v. Sinclair, No. 12-99003 [September 3, 2015]

Elmore v. Sinclair

The court held that the Washington Supreme Court’s conclusion that Elmore was not deprived of his constitutional rights during his capital trial was not unreasonable under AEDPA and Harrington v. Richter. Specifically finding, that his due process rights were not violated where he was shackled in front of the jury on the first day of a twelve-day voir dire as he could not establish prejudice on these facts. Elmore also raised four ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Counsel was not ineffective in failing to object to the shackling due to the no prejudice findings. Counsel was not ineffective in not presenting mental health or brain damage evidence because his “remorse-oriented strategy” was not deficient performance. It found no deficient performance from counsel’s failure to object to the redaction of Mr. Elmore’s tape recorded statement where the redacted statements were read into the record. Counsel was not ineffective in advising Elmore to plead guilty because it would give him a better chance of avoiding the DP, because he failed to show prejudice as he failed to show that he would have pleaded not guilty and gone to trial. Where a juror failed to tell of his past sexual abuse his due process rights were not denied where the incidents were minor and not related to the charges in Elmore’s case.

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