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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ind. Decisions - "Failure to call client was deficient performance"

The March 27th 7th Circuit decision in the case of Bynum v. Lemmon [ILB entry here] is the subject of a story today by David Ziemer in the Wisconsin Law Journal that begins:

If your client says his statement to police was coerced, it is ineffective assistance of counsel not to call him to testify at the suppression hearing.

Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner wrote for the Seventh Circuit, "True, [counsel] testified at the post-conviction hearing that he intended to elicit evidence of coercion through the officers' testimony. But this plan, as the district court aptly observed, is 'not trial strategy; it is television fantasy.'"

Nevertheless, the court on Mar. 27 let the conviction stand, concluding it was not unreasonable for the state courts to find that the defendant was not prejudiced by his attorney's performance.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 2, 2009 03:41 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions