There have been some big habeas grants coming out of the other circuits recently. I know of three of them in the past three weeks, but there could obviously be some more.
The most notable of these was the decision yesterday out of the Fourth Circuit in the case of Tice v. Johnson. The petitioner is one of the "Norfolk Four". The Norfolk Four are four men who were convicted of a brutal rape and murder in Norfolk, VA. The convictions were based largely on confessions that the four claim were coerced and otherwise false. A fifth man was also convicted of the rape and murder and only his DNA was found at the scene. In his confession, he said that he acted alone.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of habeas relief on the ground of IAC based on counsel's failure to move to suppress the confession on the grounds that petitioner had invoked his right to remain silent.
But that's not the only one . . .
Back in late March early April, the Seventh Circuit also granted habeas relief in two separate cases.
In a case decided on March 31, the Seventh Circuit granted habeas relief on the ground that petitioner's confrontation rights were violated when the prosecution was allowed to admit through a detective a confession that a co-defendant made to his brother. That's a doubly confusing sentence because it was a double hearsay problem. The case is Jones v. Basinger.
The following day, in a separate case, the Seventh Circuit granted habeas relief on IAC grounds based on counsel's failure to follow the proper procedures in order to admit evidence that the complainant had made prior false accusations of sexual abuse against other people. The case is Sussman v. Jenkins.
Good stuff happening in the circuits. Didn't I recently mention that this appeared to be peak season in habeasland?