April 05th, 2017
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Whitaker v. Davis
Opinion Date: April 4, 2017
Judge: Stephen Andrew Higginson
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
Petitioner, convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment on his federal habeas claims. Petitioner claimed prosecutorial misconduct related to references at trial and during his penalty phase to a plea discussion proffer. The court affirmed the district court's analysis and holding that the TCCA's resolution of petitioner's allegation of prosecutorial misconduct was not contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law. The court held that any improper passing reference at trial to the proffer (or omissions in it) was harmless. The court also denied petitioner's request for a certificate of appealability as to his allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.
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