, Dunn v. Reeves :: 594 U.S. ___ (2021) :: US LAW US Supreme Court Center

Dunn v. Reeves :: 594 U.S. ___ (2021) :: US LAW US Supreme Court Center

    USLaw.Site Opinion Summary and Annotations

    In 1996, Reeves and some pals went “looking for a few robberies ” however their car broke down. Johnson provided to tow their vehicle. After they arrived, Reeves shot Johnson and directed the others to get his cash. Reeves bragged that the homicide might earn him a gang tattoo; at a party, Reeves mocked pumping a shotgun and the manner that Johnson died. Alabama charged Reeves with homicide. His appointed lawyers explored feasible intellectual incapacity. They acquired Reeves’ educational, clinical, and correctional records and investment to hire a neuropsychologist (Dr.Goff). Reeves turned into inside the “borderline” variety of intelligence but were denied special education offerings. A psychologist evaluated Reeves and opined that he was no longer intellectually disabled. Reeves’ attorneys seemingly elected to pursue other mitigation strategies. The jury advocated a death sentence.

    Reeves unsuccessfully sought state submit-conviction remedy, alleging that he changed into intellectually disabled or that suggest must have employed Dr. Goff to expand mitigation. Dr. Goff testified that Reeves turned into intellectually disabled. The country’s professional administered his own evaluation and concluded that Reeves became now not intellectually disabled, noting that Reeves had a leadership role in a drug-dealing group. Although his legal professionals have been to be had, Reeves did now not name them to testify. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. The federal district court denied habeas alleviation. The Eleventh Circuit reversed in element, locating that Reeves's attorneys were constitutionally deficient for no longer developing proof of highbrow incapacity and that this failure may have changed the final results of the trial.

    The Supreme Court reversed. The Alabama court docket did now not violate actually established federal law in rejecting Reeves’ claim. Counsel’s strategic decisions are entitled to a “sturdy presumption” of reasonableness. The analysis is “doubly deferential” whilst a state court has determined that suggest executed correctly. Despite Reeves’ allegations approximately his lawyers, he offered no proof from them. Counsel’s efforts to collect Reeves’ information and attain investment hardly indicates neglect and disinterest. The Alabama courtroom conducted a case-specific evaluation and fairly concluded that the unfinished evidentiary file doomed Reeves’ belated efforts to 2nd-wager his attorneys. The Eleventh Circuit recharacterized its analysis as a “express rule” that any prisoner will always lose if he fails to impeach trial recommend concerning his reasoning.


    Primary Holding
    Supreme Court reverses an Eleventh Circuit grant of habeas remedy for a 1996 murder; the Alabama courtroom did no longer unreasonably apply a express rule in comparing the defendant's claim of ineffective help.
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    Jefferson S. Dunn, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Corrections v. Matthew Reeves

    on petition for writ of certiorari to the us courtroom of appeals for the eleventh circuit

    No. 20–1084. Decided July 2, 2021

    Per Curiam.

    Willie Johnson towed Matthew Reeves’ damaged-down automobile lower back to the town after locating Reeves stranded on an Alabama dust road. In fee for this act of kindness, Reeves murdered Johnson, stole his cash, and mocked his dying spasms. Years after being convicted of murder and sentenced to demise, Reeves sought kingdom postconviction comfort, arguing that his trial recommend need to have employed an professional to expand sentencing-segment mitigation evidence of highbrow disability. But in spite of having the burden to rebut the strong presumption that his legal professionals made a legitimate strategic preference, Reeves did now not call any of them to testify. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied comfort, stressing that lack of evidence about recommend’s choices impeded Reeves’ efforts to show that they acted unreasonably. Reeves v. State, 226 So. 3d 711, 750–751 (2016).

    On federal habeas review, the Eleventh Circuit held that this evaluation turned into now not most effective wrong, however indefensible. In an unpublished, in step with curiam opinion that drew heavily on a dissent from denial of certiorari, the Eleventh Circuit reinterpreted the Alabama courtroom’s lengthy opinion as enforcing a simple in step with se prohibition on remedy in all cases in which a prisoner fails to question his suggest. Reeves v. Commissioner, Ala. Dept. of Corrections, 836 Fed. Appx. 733, 744–747 (2020). It was the Eleventh Circuit, however, that went off beam in its “readiness to characteristic mistakes.” Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U. S. 19, 24 (2002) (consistent with curiam). Federal habeas courts must defer to affordable state-court selections, 28 U. S. C. §2254(d), and the Alabama courtroom’s treatment of the spotty record in this situation changed into consistent with this Court’s reputation that “the absence of evidence can't overcome the sturdy presumption that counsel’s behavior fell in the extensive range of affordable expert help.” Burt v. Titlow, 571 U. S. 12, 23 (2013) (inner citation marks and brackets unnoticed).


    In November 1996, Reeves and some pals decided to “exit searching out a few robberies. ” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 719 (inner quotation marks left out). The group’s initial goal turned into a drug provider in a nearby city, however their car broke down and left them stranded on the side of the street. A few hours later, but, Johnson occurred to force by in his truck and presented to tow the disabled car to Reeves’ house.

    After they arrived, Reeves, who was using within the mattress of the truck, stuck a shotgun via the rear window of the cab and shot Johnson within the neck. As Johnson sat slumped within the driver’s seat “bleeding closely and making gagging noises,” Reeves directed the rest of the group to “go through Johnson’s pockets to get his cash.” Id., at 720 (inner citation marks disregarded). Throughout the rest of the day, Reeves time and again “brag[ged] about having shot Johnson,” boasting that the murder “might earn him a ‘teardrop,’ a gang tattoo obtained for killing someone.” Ibid. (internal quotation marks left out). And at a celebration that night, Reeves invented a dance wherein he “faux[ed] to pump a shotgun” and “jerk[ed] his frame around in a manner mocking the way that Willie Johnson had died.” Ibid. (brackets and internal citation marks disregarded).

    Alabama charged Reeves with murder and appointed suggest for him. His attorneys took several steps to develop mitigating proof, such as exploring the possibility that Reeves became intellectually disabled. For instance, they obtained sizeable data of Reeves’ instructional, medical, and correctional records. Counsel additionally asked investment to hire a neuropsychologist, Dr. John Goff, to assess Reeves and prepare mitigation proof. And while the trial court docket to begin with rejected that request, suggest effectively sought reconsideration.

    After the court docket granted funding, Reeves’ legal professionals controlled to acquire extra mental-health data from the State, consisting of files related to a pretrial competency assessment that featured a partial administration of an IQ take a look at.[1] The totality of the evidence pondered that Reeves had a afflicted youth, suffered from numerous behavioral difficulties, and turned into inside the “borderline” range of intelligence. While in college—before being expelled for violence and misbehavior—he have been referred to special services for emotional battle and behavioral troubles. But Reeves’ statistics additionally showed that he had previously been denied special academic offerings for intellectual incapacity. Counsel also found out that Reeves had attended instructions and earned certificates in welding, masonry, and car mechanics. And the psychologist who to start with evaluated Reeves later opined that he turned into no longer intellectually disabled.

    At some factor earlier than trial, Reeves’ legal professionals seemingly elected to pursue different mitigation strategies rather than hiring Dr. Goff. The report does no longer screen the exact reason for this decision—in all likelihood due to the fact Reeves did no longer ask them to testify. The document does display, however, that counsel supplied a holistic mitigation case. For example, counsel referred to as numerous witnesses at sentencing—such as Reeves’ mom and the psychologist who completed the competency assessment—and elicited testimony about Reeves’ turbulent formative years, neglectful family, and educational problems. The jury, but, recommended a demise sentence.

    Reeves later sought postconviction relief in state court, alleging almost 20 theories of errors. Relevant right here, he asserted that he changed into categorically exempt from execution by means of cause of intellectual incapacity, see Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U. S. 304 (2002), or not less than that recommend need to have employed Dr. Goff to develop mitigation along the ones traces to be used at sentencing, see Porter v. McCollum, 558 U. S. 30 (2009) (consistent with curiam). At a 2-day hearing in kingdom court, Reeves referred to as two experts, consisting of Dr. Goff. The health practitioner concluded that Reeves became intellectually disabled, explaining that the so-known as Flynn Effect—a debatable idea involving the inflation of IQ scores through the years—required adjusting Reeves’ rating downward into the 60s.[2] Dr. Goff additionally noted some of behavioral checks that supposedly confirmed Reeves’ shortcomings in adaptive functioning. For its part, the State supplied the professional testimony of Dr. King, who administered his personal evaluation and concluded that Reeves become now not intellectually disabled. In truth, Dr. King mentioned that Reeves had a leadership function in a drug-dealing organization and earned as a whole lot as $2,000 a week.

    Despite Reeves’ consciousness on his lawyer’s performance, he did no longer give them the opportunity to give an explanation for their moves. Although all three of his attorneys apparently were alive and available, Reeves did now not name them to testify.

    The trial court denied comfort, and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. First, it agreed that Reeves had did not show that he turned into honestly intellectually disabled and for this reason exempt from execution. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 744. The court docket particularly addressed Dr. Goff ’s reliance at the Flynn Effect, reiterating that this technique “has not been typical as scientifically legitimate through all courts” and changed into “now not settled in the mental community.” Id., at 739 (internal citation marks overlooked). In reality, even Dr. Goff had “admitted that he did not use the ‘Flynn Effect’ for over two decades after it become first found.” Ibid.

    Second, the courtroom rejected Reeves’ declare that recommend have to have employed an professional to increase mitigating evidence of intellectual incapacity. Stressing that an attorney’s selection not to hire an professional is “usually [a] strategic decisio[n]” a good way to “now not represent in step with se deficient overall performance,” the court docket appeared to the document to evaluate the “reasoning behind counsel’s movements.” Id., at 750, 751 (internal citation marks omitted). In this example, the court discovered, “the report [was] silent as to th[ose] motives” “because Reeves failed to name his counsel to testify.” Id., at 751 (inner citation marks not noted). Hence, he could not overcome the “presumption of effectiveness” that courts ought to afford to trial counsel. Ibid. (inner quotation marks overlooked).

    Reeves sought certiorari, which we denied over a dissent. Reeves v. Alabama, 583 U. S. ___ (2017) (opinion of Sotomayor, J.). The dissent acknowledged that the “absence of recommend’s testimony might also make it extra tough for a defendant to satisfy his burden” of proving deficient performance, but nevertheless would have reversed and remanded as it understood the Alabama court docket to have implemented “a express rule that recommend have to testify in order for a petitioner to be successful on a federal constitutional useless- help-of-suggest declare.” Id., at ___, ___ (slip op., at 2, 9). Although the dissent noted no selection in which this Court reprimanded a kingdom court docket for taking that approach, it reasoned that such a rule became contrary to choices in which this Court had “found deficient performance no matter [attorney] testimony, based totally on a evaluate of the whole record.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 9).[3]

    Reeves next sought federal habeas assessment. The District Court denied relief, but the Eleventh Circuit reversed in part. Like every courtroom earlier than it, the Eleventh Circuit first rejected Reeves’ declare that he became intellectually disabled. 836 Fed. Appx., at 741. But, it held that his lawyers had been constitutionally deficient for no longer developing more proof of intellectual disability and that this failure may have modified the final results of the trial.

    In accomplishing that end result, the Eleventh Circuit defined that it owed no deference to the “unreasonable” decision of the Alabama courtroom. §2254(d). Quoting at period from the sooner dissent from denial of certiorari, the panel reasoned that “a per se rule that the petitioner ought to present recommend’s testimony” was truly contrary to federal law. Id., at 744–747. And, to illustrate that the Alabama court had carried out this kind of rule, the Eleventh Circuit excised a single declaration from a prolonged block quote: “ ‘[T]o conquer the strong presumption of effectiveness, a [state] petitioner have to, at his evidentiary hearing, query trial counsel concerning his actions and reasoning.’ ” Id., at 744 (emphasis deleted). The Eleventh Circuit then reasoned that the country court docket really must have imposed this “express rule” due to the fact its opinion additionally stated that Reeves’ “ ‘failure to name his attorneys to testify turned into deadly to his claims.’ ” Ibid. (emphasis deleted; brackets left out). But that quote was not pretty whole; the unique sentence reads, “In this situation, Reeves’s failure to call his legal professionals to testify is deadly to his claims of ineffective help of suggest.” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 749 (emphasis added).


    This case provides a easy question: Did the Alabama court violate certainly hooked up federal regulation whilst it rejected Reeves’ declare that his legal professionals have to have employed an expert?

    In answering this question, we owe deference to each Reeves’ counsel and the nation court docket. As to suggest, we have frequently defined that strategic decisions—consisting of whether or not to hire an professional—are entitled to a “strong presumption” of reasonableness. Harrington v. Richter, 562 U. S. 86, 104 (2011). Defense lawyers have “restricted” time and resources, and so need to choose from amongst “ ‘endless’ ” strategic alternatives. Id., at 106–107. Such decisions are especially hard because positive approaches bring the danger of “harm[ing] the defense” by using undermining credibility with the jury or distracting from extra critical troubles. Id., at 108.

    The burden of rebutting this presumption “rests squarely at the defendant,” and “[i]t should move without saying that the absence of evidence can't overcome [it].” Titlow, 571 U. S., at 22–23. In reality, even though there may be motive to assume that recommend’s behavior “was far from exemplary,” a courtroom nonetheless might not supply alleviation if “[t]he report does not monitor” that suggest took an method that no ready legal professional might have selected. Id., at 23–24.

    This analysis is “doubly deferential” when, as right here, a nation courtroom has decided that suggest accomplished properly. Id., at 15 (internal citation marks neglected); see also Sexton v. Beaudreaux, 585 U. S. ___, ___–___ (2018) (in step with curiam) (slip op., at 7–8) (deference is “near its apex” in such cases). A federal courtroom may also furnish habeas relief most effective if a country court violated “simply mounted Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of america.” §2254(d)(1) (emphasis brought). This “huge latitude” method that federal courts can accurate handiest “excessive malfunctions within the state crook justice syste[m].” Richter, 562 U. S., at 102, 106 (internal quotation marks neglected). And in reviewing the paintings of their peers, federal judges ought to start with the “presumption that state courts recognize and comply with the regulation.” Woodford, 537 U. S., at 24. Or, in extra concrete phrases, a federal courtroom may also grant comfort best if every “ ‘fairminded juris[t]’ ” would agree that every reasonable legal professional would have made a unique choice. Richter, 562 U. S., at one zero one.

    A trustworthy software of these principles exhibits the quantity of the Eleventh Circuit’s errors. We start, as we must, with the case because it got here to the Alabama court. Reeves had filed a one hundred-plus-page quick alleging manifold mistakes, inclusive of numerous theories of ineffective help of counsel. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 749–750, and n. 16. Many of these attacked primary strategic picks, consisting of his current argument that counsel need to have hired Dr. Goff to expand additional evidence of highbrow disability. Yet, regardless of Reeves’ determination to discover fault along with his legal professionals, he supplied no testimony or other evidence from them.

    That omission become particularly substantial given the “variety of possible reasons [Reeves’] suggest may also have had for proceeding as they did.” Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U. S. 170, 196 (2011) (inner quotation marks overlooked). This isn't a case in which a legal professional “didn't uncover and gift any proof of [Reeves’] mental health or intellectual impairment, [or] his circle of relatives historical past.” Porter, 558 U. S., at forty (emphasis introduced). Counsel’s preliminary enthusiasm to gather Reeves’ facts and gain investment hardly ever indicates expert forget about and disinterest.

    Rather, we virtually do now not recognise what information and considerations emerged as counsel reviewed the case and delicate their approach. The lawyers may thoroughly have pored over the voluminous proof of their possession—such as those received after their funding request—and identified numerous motives that a jury became unlikely to be persuaded by way of a declare of highbrow incapacity. After all, despite the fact that Reeves’ statistics advised that his intelligence become under common, additionally they indicated that he became now not intellectually disabled. E.g., 226 So. 3d, at 729. Counsel can also were concerned approximately the evidence of Reeves’ records of violence, crook past, and behavior issues, ibid., and concluded that presenting these characteristics along a complete-throated intellectual-incapacity argument would have satisfied the jury that Reeves “was virtually beyond rehabilitation,” Pinholster, 563 U. S., at 201. Or, suggest may additionally have exposed additional evidence confirming their concerns approximately an intellectual-disability strategy. Perhaps Reeves knowledgeable them, as he later did Dr. King, that he became savvy sufficient to earn lots of bucks per week in a drug- dealing operation wherein he had a management role. 226 So. 3d, at 736.

    Or, suggest may properly have further investigated Dr. Goff and determined that his arguable methodologies would undermine credibility with a local jury—likely a prescient choice given that each unmarried courtroom to take into account the difficulty has rejected Reeves’ claim of intellectual incapacity. In truth, across the time that counsel had been formulating their trial method, Dr. Goff turned into already acting questionable critiques. See, e.g., King v. Apfel, 2000 WL 284217, *2 (SD Ala., Feb. 29, 2000) (Dr. Goff ’s 1996 evaluation of a Social Security claimant became “unsupported by means of the clinical evidence,” and “everything else within the report [was] counter to [his] severe findings” (emphasis added)); Small v. Apfel, 2000 WL 1844727, *three, n. 5 (SD Ala., Oct. 17, 2000) (“[Dr.] Goff ’s [1998] conclusions regarding deficits in adaptive conduct are not best mere guesses . . . however also be afflicted by a lack of guide inside the file”). It isn't always unreasonable for a attorney to be worried approximately overreaching.

    Simply positioned, if the attorneys were given the threat to testify, they may have pointed to data justifying the strategic selection to commit their time and efforts somewhere else. Yet, Reeves—probable pursuing a strategy of his personal—declined to put that testimonial proof earlier than the Alabama court. So for the reason that the Alabama court became entitled to reject Reeves’ claim if trial suggest had any “feasible reaso[n] . . . for proceeding as they did,” Pinholster, 563 U. S., at 196 (internal citation marks disregarded), it really turned into no longer obliged to just accept Reeves’ blanket declaration on an incomplete evidentiary file that “[n]o affordable approach should aid recommend’s failure,” ECF Doc. 23–29, at 81.

    Rather than defer to this commonsense evaluation, the Eleventh Circuit took a direction that we have long foreclosed: “mischaracterization of the nation-court opinion.” Woodford, 537 U. S., at 22. As explained above, the Alabama court fairly concluded that the unfinished evidentiary record—which become substantially “silent as to the reasons trial counsel . . . chose not to rent Dr. Goff or every other neuropsychologist”—doomed Reeves’ belated efforts to 2d-guess his legal professionals. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 751. The Eleventh Circuit, but, recharacterized this case-precise evaluation as a “express rule” that any prisoner will usually lose if he fails to name and question “trial counsel concerning his or her movements and reasoning.” 836 Fed. Appx., at 744 (emphasis deleted; inner quotation marks left out).

    We assume it clear from context that the Alabama court docket did now not observe a blanket rule, but as a substitute determined that the records of this case did now not merit alleviation. As an preliminary matter, the Alabama court docket twice diagnosed that there can be times of “per se deficient overall performance.” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 750–751. It virtually concluded that here, counsel’s preference concerning experts worried a strategic selection entitled to a presumption of reasonableness. Ibid. Moreover, other portions of the opinion’s lengthy recitation of the regulation (which the Eleventh Circuit overlooked) belie a express technique. In particular, the court docket two times said that it might keep in mind “ ‘all of the instances’ ” of the case, and it qualified its supposedly categorical rule by using explaining that “counsel have to frequently be afforded an possibility to explain his actions earlier than being denounced as ineffective.” Id., at 744, 747 (emphasis added; a few inner citation marks neglected).

    Other components of the opinion yield the equal interpretation. For instance, the courtroom committed almost nine pages to discussing ineffective help of suggest. That would had been a curious choice for a “busy state cour[t]” if a single sentence making use of a consistent with se rule could have sufficed. Johnson v. Williams, 568 U. S. 289, 298 (2013) (country courts need not even “talk one by one every unmarried declare”). Within that lengthy discussion, the courtroom individually noted a lot of Reeves’ specific theories, consisting of his current intellectual-disability argument. Moreover, that the court in a footnote summarily rejected exceptional ineffective- assistance-of-counsel claims for procedural motives similarly weighs in opposition to imputing a in line with se rule for the theories that the court docket mentioned inside the frame of its opinion. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 749–750, n. sixteen.

    Even greater critical, the actual analysis of the declare at trouble here reflects a case-precise approach. The courtroom did no longer simply say, as the Eleventh Circuit wrongly cautioned, that Reeves’ “ ‘failure to call his lawyers to testify was fatal to his claims.’ ” 836 Fed. Appx., at 744 (brackets neglected). Rather, the opinion prefaced this quote with an critical qualifier—“In this case.” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 749 (emphasis introduced). And sure sufficient, the courtroom proceeded to give an explanation for why Reeves could not be successful “in this example”—due to the fact “the document [was] silent as to the reasoning behind recommend’s actions.” Id., at 751 (inner quotation marks unnoticed). To make sure, the file on this particular case passed off to be deficient “due to the fact Reeves failed to name his recommend to testify.” Ibid. But, this unremarkable statement of reason and effect in mild of the information before the court docket changed into rarely an absolute bar in every case where other document proof would possibly fill within the details. And, it surely changed into no longer opposite to genuinely installed law given that this Court and the Eleventh Circuit have made the equal statement that a silent record cannot discharge a prisoner’s burden. E.g., Titlow, 571 U. S., at 15, 22–24; Grayson v. Thompson, 257 F. 3d 1194, 1218 (CA11 2001) (noting that “the document [was] silent as to why trial counsel did not pursue a movement to suppress the evidence,” and that “habeas counsel did no longer inquire as to trial counsel’s motives for no longer elevating this sort of declare”).[4]

    *  *  *

    For the foregoing reasons, we provide the petition for a writ of certiorari, opposite the judgment of the Court of Appeals, and remand the case for complaints regular with this opinion.

    It is so ordered.

    Justice Breyer dissents.

    1  Around the equal time, one in every of Reeves’ legal professionals withdrew from the case, explaining that Reeves “ha[d] been combative, argumentative[,] and ha[d] totally refused to assist [the attorney] in any manner.” Electronic Case Filing in No. 1:17–cv–00061 (SD Ala.) (ECF), Doc. 23–1, pp. three, seventy eight. Another attorney replaced him.
    2  According to a few proponents of this idea, the Flynn Effect posits that IQ rankings boom “through about 0.3 factors in step with 12 months,” which in flip “calls for that the IQ test be ‘normed’ periodically in order that the suggest rating at the check stays the identical” and “that 0.3 factors be deducted from [a] full-scale IQ score achieved on an IQ take a look at for every 12 months because the take a look at become closing normed.” Reeves v. State, 226 So. 3d 711, 730 (Ala. Crim. App. 2016).
    3  We observe that this dissent—in contrast to the Eleventh Circuit—taken into consideration the case before it entered the enormously deferential posture of federal habeas assessment. Moreover, the dissent did no longer finish that Reeves changed into entitled to alleviation at the merits of his declare, however rather might have “remand[ed] in order that the [Alabama court] may want to provide an explanation for why, given the entire authentic record, Reeves’ suggest’s selections constituted affordable performance.” 583 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 14).
    4  Today’s dissent suggests that a more latest selection—State v. M.D.D., ___ So. 3d ___, 2020 WL 6110694 (Ala. Crim. App., Oct. sixteen, 2020)—illustrates that Alabama courts recognize Reeves to announce a in keeping with se rule. Post, at 6–nine, and n. 4 (opinion of Sotomayor, J.). But that case does the exact opposite. In M.D.D., the petitioner alleged that his attorney need to have known as a medical expert at trial, but he did not have the attorney testify on the postconviction hearing. 2020 WL 6110694, *five–*6. The Alabama court docket denied relief after inspecting the proof and identifying a “sound, strategic reason for now not calling [the expert] to testify.” Id., at *8 (discussing a possible disadvantage to having the expert testify); see additionally id., at *9 (explaining, in the alternative, why the petitioner suffered no prejudice). Notably, the court docket did so after citing Reeves and quoting the identical language that the dissent claims represents a in step with se rule. Compare identity., at *7–*8 (“[A] Rule 32 petitioner have to, at his evidentiary listening to, query trial suggest regarding his or her actions and reasoning. . . . In this situation, the failure to have trial recommend testify is fatal to [the petitioner’s] claims of ineffective assistance of counsel” (emphasis deleted; inner citation marks unnoticed)), with post, at 1, 5. Again, it would were peculiar for a busy Alabama court docket to dedicate pages to rejecting a claim if a specific bar would have sufficed.


    Jefferson S. Dunn, Commissioner, Alabama Department of Corrections v. Matthew Reeves

    on petition for writ of certiorari to the united states court docket of appeals for the eleventh circuit

    No. 20–1084. Decided July 2, 2021

    Justice Sotomayor, with whom Justice Kagan joins, dissenting.

    Under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U. S. 668 (1984), courts ought to determine a defendant’s claim that his attorney failed to offer constitutionally effective assistance “in mild of all the circumstances.” Id., at 690. No single sort of evidence is a prerequisite to comfort. Therefore, as the bulk implicitly acknowledges, a per se rule that a habeas petitioner’s claim fails if his lawyer did no longer testify at an evidentiary listening to is flatly incompatible with Strickland.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama applied exactly this sort of rule in this case. When respondent Matthew Reeves raised several useless-assistance-of-counsel (IAC) claims in state postconviction lawsuits, the courtroom stated, in no unsure terms (and underlined for emphasis), that “to overcome the sturdy presumption of effectiveness, a Rule 32 petitioner should, at his evidentiary listening to, question trial suggest concerning his or her movements and reasoning.” Reeves v. State, 226 So. 3d 711, 748 (2016) (internal quotation marks omitted). Applying that rule “[i]n this case,” the courtroom held that “Reeves’s failure to name his attorneys to testify is fatal to his claims of useless assistance of recommend.” Id., at 749. Reeves then sought habeas alleviation in federal court. Based at the state courtroom’s clear maintaining, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit nicely determined that the state court’s use of the in keeping with se rule was an unreasonable software of Strickland. Reeves v. Commissioner, Ala. Dept. of Corrections, 836 Fed. Appx. 733, 744 (2020) (according to curiam).

    Through linguistic contortion, the Court today rescues the country court’s decision by construing it no longer to use a according to se rule at all. Based on that fantastic analyzing, the Court summarily reverses the Eleventh Circuit’s supply of relief. The lengths to which this Court is going to make certain that Reeves remains on dying row are super. I respectfully dissent.



    In 1998, Reeves became convicted of capital homicide for a brutal crime he dedicated whilst he was 18 years vintage. By a vote of 10 to two, a divided jury encouraged that Reeves be sentenced to dying, and the trial court docket standard that advice.

    During his trial, Reeves become to start with represented by two attorneys, Blanchard McLeod and Marvin Wiggins. Reeves’ counsel moved for the appointment of a neuropsychologist, Dr. John Goff, to behavior an intellectual incapacity evaluation. When the movement was denied, Reeves’ suggest sought rehearing. They explained that they'd collected “masses of pages of psychological, psychometric and behavioral analysis fabric regarding [Reeves].” Electronic Case Filing in No. 1:17–cv–00061 (SD Ala.) (ECF), Doc. 23–1, p. seventy four. That material, McLeod had represented in court, become “exceptionally pertinent” to Reeves’ penalty section protection. ECF Doc. 23–3, at ninety six. Counsel stated that keeping “a clinical neuropsychologist” like Dr. Goff changed into “the most effective avenue open to the defense to collect this data . . . and present [it] in an orderly and informative fashion to the jury.” ECF Doc. 23–1, at seventy four–seventy five. The kingdom court docket granted the request and furnished investment to lease Dr. Goff. Id., at eighty one. Around the equal time, McLeod become changed via any other attorney, Thomas Goggans. 836 Fed. Appx., at 736.

    Reeves’ new team, Goggans and Wiggins, did not observe via on hiring a neuropsychologist. As Dr. Goff later testified, inside the greater than 3 months between his appointment and the penalty segment trial, Reeves’ legal professionals “just never referred to as.” ECF Doc. 23–24, at 68. They additionally never hired some other neuropsychologist to review the proof and compare Reeves for intellectual incapacity. 836 Fed. Appx., at 748. Instead, on the day of the penalty segment trial, recommend contacted Dr. Kathleen Ronan, a scientific psychologist who had previously evaluated Reeves for competence to face trial and his intellectual nation on the time of the offense. ECF Doc. 23–26, at eighty two–eighty four. She had in no way evaluated Reeves for highbrow disability, and she or he had not spoken with Goggans or Wiggins until “the day that [she] testified.” Id., at eighty four.

    Dr. Ronan informed Reeves’ recommend that her prior evaluation could now not serve their functions. Ibid. As she later explained, assessing Reeves for intellectual disability “was no longer inside the scope of [her] assessment.” Ibid. Had she been employed to behavior such an assessment, she could have administered a complete IQ take a look at and carried out different opinions designed to diagnose highbrow disability. Id., at eighty five–87. Instead, Dr. Ronan had handiest administered part of an IQ check and discovered that Reeves’ verbal IQ “changed into now not in a level that they might name him [intellectually disabled].” ECF Doc. 23–8, at a hundred and fifty five; see also ECF Doc. 23–26, at eighty five. An expert for the State later administered a complete IQ test, however, showing that Reeves’ IQ changed into well in the range for highbrow disability. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 737; ECF Doc. 23–25, at 24; ECF Doc. 23–24, at 26.

    Nevertheless, Reeves’ suggest called Dr. Ronan to testify. The simplest different witnesses counsel referred to as had been Reeves’ mother and a police detective. The entire penalty segment trial lasted simply one and a 1/2 hours. ECF Doc. 23–14, at 154. Reviewing the file, the trial judge discovered that “[t]he most effective evidence that [he could] recollect in mitigation of this offense . . . is the evidence of [Reeves’] age and [his] youthfulness.” ECF Doc. 23–8, at 212. Concluding that such limited proof would no longer outweigh the worrying situations, the court sentenced Reeves to dying. Ibid.


    In 2002, Reeves filed a motion for kingdom postconviction comfort below Alabama Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 (referred to as a Rule 32 petition). Reeves alleged that his trial suggest have been constitutionally useless in numerous ways, which include by failing to rent a neuropsychologist to evaluate him for intellectual incapacity.

    The kingdom courtroom held a 2-day evidentiary listening to on Reeves’ claims. Reeves called Dr. Goff to testify. At the request of Reeves’ postconviction counsel, Dr. Goff had reviewed Reeves’ intellectual fitness and college records and administered “a battery of checks designed to assess Mr. Reeves’ IQ, cognitive talents, and adaptive functioning.” 836 Fed. Appx., at 737. Dr. Goff observed that Reeves’ IQ ratings have been seventy one and seventy three,[1] showing that Reeves “has drastically subaverage highbrow functioning,” and that he “has extensive deficits in multiple regions of adaptive functioning.” Ibid. These deficits manifested before Reeves turned 18 years antique. ECF Doc. 23–24, at 25–26, sixty five–67. Based on his findings, Dr. Goff concluded that Reeves is intellectually disabled. 836 Fed. Appx., at 737. Dr. Goff testified that “had Mr. Reeves’ trial suggest asked him to assess Mr. Reeves years in advance for the reason of attesting at trial, he might have performed comparable opinions and reached the identical conclusions.” Ibid.

    Reeves’ trial recommend did now not testify at the Rule 32 listening to. At the beginning of the listening to, the State had declared that it meant to call Goggans and Wiggins to “give an explanation for why they did certain things and perhaps why they didn’t do certain things.” ECF Doc. 23–24, at 14. But at the conclusion of the listening to, the State “determined now not to call trial suggest.” ECF Doc. 23–25, at 86.

    The country court docket denied Reeves’ motion for postconviction comfort. On enchantment, Reeves argued that the lower court docket had “erred in ignoring good sized proof in guide of [his IAC claim] on the premise that he did no longer name recommend to testify.” ECF Doc. 23–29, at 45. In response, the State argued that due to the fact “Reeves failed to call both of his trial legal professionals to testify regarding their selection to name Dr. Ronan instead of Dr. Goff,” the lower court docket “properly presumed that they acted fairly.” Id., at 199–two hundred.

    The Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama agreed with the State, rejecting Reeves’ contention that “testimony from recommend isn't essential to show any declare of useless help of recommend.” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 747. That argument, the court reasoned, “fail[ed] to remember the requirement that courts indulge a robust presumption that counsel acted fairly, a presumption that must be triumph over with the aid of proof to the opposite.” Ibid. (emphasis in authentic). The court docket then detailed what that evidence must be: “ ‘[T]o conquer the sturdy presumption of effectiveness, a Rule 32 petitioner have to, at his evidentiary listening to, question trial counsel concerning his or her movements and reasoning.’ ” Id., at 748 (emphasis in authentic; quoting Stallworth v. State, 171 So. 3d 53, 92 (Ala. Crim. App. 2013)). The court cited over half of a dozen instances supporting that according to se rule. See 226 So. 3d, at 748. It then applied the guideline to Reeves, explaining that “[i]n this example, Reeves’s failure to call his attorneys to testify is deadly to his claims of useless assistance of recommend.” Id., at 749.

    Reeves filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in search of evaluate of the kingdom court’s selection, which this Court denied. I dissented, joined via Justice Ginsburg and Justice Kagan. We talked about that the country court docket had implemented a per se rule “that counsel should testify in order for a petitioner to be triumphant on a federal constitutional useless-assistance-of-recommend declare.” Reeves v. Alabama, 583 U. S. ___, ___ (2017) (slip op., at 2). Even the State did no longer defend the constitutionality of any such rule. See ibid.


    Reeves then filed a federal habeas petition pursuant to 28 U. S. C. §2254. The District Court denied Reeves’ petition and his movement for reconsideration. See 2019 WL 1938805, *eleven (SD Ala., May 1, 2019). The Eleventh Circuit reversed in relevant component. It study the country appellate court docket’s decision to “trea[t] Mr. Reeves’ failure to name his counsel to testify as a in line with se bar to remedy—notwithstanding sufficient proof in the document to overcome the presumption of good enough illustration.” 836 Fed. Appx., at 744. In so doing, the kingdom courtroom “unreasonably applied Strickland.” Ibid. The Eleventh Circuit therefore reviewed Reeves’ claim de novo and discovered that Reeves had proved useless help of suggest. Id., at 747–753.

    The Eleventh Circuit became no longer by myself in decoding the nation court docket’s choice to apply a “categorical rule.” Id., at 744. Less than a month in advance, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama (the identical courtroom that had issued the decision in question) denied every other defendant’s IAC declare. Once again, the courtroom stated its in step with se rule: “[T]o triumph over the sturdy presumption of effectiveness, a Rule 32 petitioner ought to, at his evidentiary hearing, query trial recommend regarding his or her moves and reasoning.” State v. M.D.D., ___ So. 3d ___, ___, 2020 WL 6110694, *7 (Oct. 16, 2020) (inner quotation marks unnoticed; emphasis deleted). In help, the courtroom mentioned its earlier selection in Reeves, which it summarized as “protecting that [a] Rule 32 petitioner had failed to prove his claims of useless assistance of trial and appellate counsel due to the fact he did not name his trial or appellate counsel to testify on the Rule 32 evidentiary listening to.” Id., at *8. As in Reeves’ case, the courtroom in M.D.D. held that “the failure to have trial suggest testify is fatal to M.D.D.’s claims of ineffective assistance of recommend.” Ibid.[2]

    The State petitioned this Court to check the Eleventh Circuit’s choice in Reeves. Despite the Alabama court’s undeniable embrace of a in step with se rule, the State accused the Eleventh Circuit of too “effectively attributing error to the state courtroom” by using deciphering its selection to “purportedly creat[e] and us[e] this in keeping with se rule.” Pet. for Cert. i. On that basis, the State requested this Court to reverse summarily the Eleventh Circuit. Id., at 30.


    The sole question provided in this example is whether the Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama applied a specific rule that Reeves’ failure to name his attorneys to testify became fatal to his IAC declare as a rely of law. No one disputes that any such rule would be an “unreasonable software” of Strickland and its progeny. 28 U. S. C. §2254(d)(1); see additionally ante, at 1, 10; Pet. for Cert. 1. Under the ones choices, no single sort of proof, consisting of suggest’s testimony, is a prerequisite to alleviation.[three] See Roe v. Flores-Ortega, 528 U. S. 470, 478 (2000) (describing Strickland’s “condition-unique reasonableness inquiry”); Williams v. Taylor, 529 U. S. 362, 391 (2000) (explaining that “the Strickland take a look at ‘of necessity requires a case-through-case examination of the evidence’ ”).

    The Court of Criminal Appeals improperly applied any such in keeping with se rule here. It commenced by using invoking Reeves’ burden “to provide evidence” sufficient to triumph over the “robust presumption that recommend acted reasonably.” Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 751 (emphasis deleted). It then neglected all the evidence that Reeves’ counsel had acted unreasonably, which includes Dr. Goff ’s description of the evaluation he could have conducted, Dr. Ronan’s warning that her testimony changed into no substitute for an real highbrow disability assessment, and trial recommend’s repeated representations about the need of hiring Dr. Goff to conduct such an evaluation.

    The courtroom held that none of this proof mattered because trial counsel did not testify: “[B]ecause Reeves failed to name his counsel to testify, the file is silent as to the motives trial counsel . . . chose not to rent Dr. Goff or any other neuropsychologist.” Ibid. The court dealt with that truth as “deadly” to Reeves’ declare. Id., at 749. Because Reeves could not establish the subjective “reasoning behind counsel’s actions, the presumption of effectiveness [was] enough to deny alleviation.” Id., at 751 (inner citation marks not noted); see additionally M.D.D., ___ So. 3d, at ___, 2020 WL 6110694, *eight (explaining that the court denied Reeves comfort “because he did no longer call his trial . . . recommend to testify”).[4]


    In reviewing habeas petitions, “federal judges should begin with the ‘presumption that country courts recognize and follow the law.’ ” Ante, at eight (quoting Woodford v. Visciotti, 537 U. S. 19, 24 (2002) (according to curiam)). But while state courts contravene this Court’s precedents, federal courts cannot turn a blind eye. Here, it's far tough to see how the state courtroom might have been any clearer in applying a per se rule that undisputedly violates Strickland.


    The Court announces that it is “clean from context that the Alabama courtroom did not practice a blanket rule, however rather determined that the information of this example did now not benefit comfort.” Ante, at 10. The hassle is that the “records of this situation” make no look inside the country courtroom’s dialogue. See Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 749–751. This Court consequently searches for a few signal (any signal) that the state court implicitly assessed the facts of the case.

    The Court first factors to two statements at the start of the nation courtroom’s evaluation in which it “said that it would don't forget ‘all the instances’ of the case.” Ante, at 10–11. But after perfunctorily bringing up the Strickland trendy, the state court docket in no way really observed thru on its responsibility to consider the evidence. Its evaluation started and ended with recommend’s failure to testify. See Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 750–751. State courts can't insulate their choices from scrutiny by using quoting the proper popular and then ignoring it.

    In a comparable vein, this Court seizes upon the nation courtroom’s citation from an earlier case mentioning that trial “ ‘recommend have to commonly be afforded an opportunity to give an explanation for his movements before being denounced as ineffective.’ ” Ante, at eleven. This, the Court claims, “belie[s] a express technique.” Ante, at 10. The state courtroom, however, expressly overrode that system of the rule of thumb, stating that the court “[s]ubsequently” held that IAC petitioners “ ‘have to’ ” question trial suggest. Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 747–748 (emphasis in unique). It trusted that rule to reject Reeves’ claim. Id., at 748–749.

    The Court additionally cites the length of the state courtroom’s opinion as purported evidence that the court docket performed a truth-specific inquiry. Ante, at 11. But what subjects is the country court docket’s reasoning, not the duration of its opinion. The kingdom court docket did now not spend “almost 9 pages” engaging in an in depth “case-particular” analysis. Ibid. The giant majority of the kingdom court’s discussion as an alternative includes a list of Reeves’ IAC allegations and lengthy block charges of wellknown legal standards. See Reeves, 226 So. 3d, at 744–750. When the court in the end became to the records of this situation, it explicitly barred remedy simplest “because Reeves failed to name his recommend to testify.” Id., at 751.

    Finally, the Court latches on to 3 phrases, “[i]n this example,” insisting that they show that the state courtroom merely concluded that trial counsel’s testimony turned into vital to Reeves’ IAC claim “[i]n this case.” Ante, at eleven (quoting 226 So. 3d, at 749; emphasis deleted). But in the use of the phrase “[i]n this example,” the nation courtroom turned into no longer addressing the evidentiary document. It changed into analogizing Reeves’ case to the many instances it had simply noted for the proposition that “ ‘a Rule 32 petitioner should, at his evidentiary listening to, query trial counsel concerning his or her moves and reasoning.’ ” Id., at 748–749 (emphasis in unique). It then concluded that “Reeves’s failure to call his lawyers to testify” in this situation changed into further “deadly to his claims.” Id., at 749. If the country court docket had meant to weigh the proof within the report, it would have. It did now not. This Court is placing phrases in the country courtroom’s mouth that the kingdom court docket by no means uttered, and which can be flatly inconsistent with what the kingdom court did say.


    Finding no applicable real evaluation in the kingdom court docket’s choice, this Court attempts its own, speculating as to what Reeves’ suggest might have stated had they been known as to testify. See ante, at eight–10. For example, the Court imagines that “counsel may also have uncovered extra proof confirming their concerns about an intellectual-incapacity method.” Ante, at 9.[five] The Court also insinuates that Reeves may also have strategically declined to name his trial recommend to avoid dangerous testimony. Ante, at 10. But if suggest’s testimony would were damaging to Reeves’ declare, one could have expected the State to call recommend to testify. Yet the State expressly declined to do so, in spite of having recommend available to testify. See ECF Doc. 23–25, at 85–86.

    The Court’s eagerness to invent eventualities dangerous to Reeves’ declare stems from its apparent belief that “the Alabama courtroom turned into entitled to reject Reeves’ declare if trial recommend had any ‘viable reaso[n] . . . for intending as they did.’ ” Ante, at 10 (quoting Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U. S. 170, 196 (2011)). That view has no basis on this Court’s precedent. Cullen did now not keep that an IAC claim fails if a courtroom can consider any possible motive for counsel’s movements. No claim ought to ever survive one of these preferred. One can constantly imagine some unsubstantiated cause for what trial counsel did. Cullen instead stated that, to evaluate whether recommend’s conduct changed into reasonable, courts ought to “entertain the range of feasible reasons” for suggest’s movements in mild of the occasions and proof actually established in the file. Id., at 196 (internal quotation marks not noted). The Court’s speculations about what may additionally have befell after Dr. Goff ’s appointment are natural conjecture.

    In any case, the Court’s guesswork is beside the factor because it turned into not the idea for the nation courtroom’s selection. When a nation courtroom offers a reasoned explanation for its choice, federal habeas courts need to overview that choice on its own phrases. See Wilson v. Sellers, 584 U. S. ___, ___ (2018) (slip op., at 2) (“In that case, a federal habeas court docket really reviews the particular reasons given by way of the country courtroom and defers to those motives if they may be reasonable”). Here, the kingdom court relied totally at the mere reality that Reeves’ suggest did not testify. That is the simplest purpose issue to our evaluation, and it it seems that contravenes Strickland.

    Even because the Court tries to shop the state court’s decision, it erroneously embraces the state courtroom’s flawed assumption that IAC claims require direct proof of the subjective “ ‘reasoning behind suggest’s movements.’ ” See ante, at 11. “Strickland, however, requires an inquiry into the goal reasonableness of recommend’s overall performance, no longer counsel’s subjective nation of thoughts.” Harrington v. Richter, 562 U. S. 86, one hundred ten (2011). “A convicted defendant creating a claim of ineffective help need to identify the acts or omissions of recommend that are alleged no longer to were the end result of affordable professional judgment. The court ought to then decide whether, in light of all the situations, the diagnosed acts or omissions had been outside the extensive range of professionally ready assistance.” Strickland, 466 U. S., at 690. This inquiry ought to be conducted “[e]ven assuming” that suggest acted “for strategic motives,” Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U. S. 510, 527 (2003), and even if recommend does now not testify. Cf. Buck, 580 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 17) (“No ready defense legal professional would introduce such proof about his own client”). “ ‘In any case providing an ineffectiveness declare, the overall performance inquiry need to be whether or not suggest’s help turned into affordable thinking about all the instances.’ ” Hinton v. Alabama, 571 U. S. 263, 273 (2014) (in line with curiam). This Court honestly cannot break out the truth that the country court did not conduct the important inquiry.

    *  *  *

    Today’s choice keeps a troubling trend wherein this Court lines to opposite summarily any offers of alleviation to those dealing with execution. See, e.g., United States v. Higgs, 592 U. S. ___ (2021) (emergency vacatur of stay and reversal); Shinn v. Kayer, 592 U. S. ___ (2020) (consistent with curiam) (precis vacatur); Dunn v. Ray, 586 U. S. ___ (2019) (emergency vacatur of stay). This Court has shown no such hobby in instances wherein defendants are seeking remedy primarily based on compelling showings that their constitutional rights were violated. See, e.g., Johnson v. Precythe, 593 U. S. ___ (2021) (denying certiorari); Whatley v. Warden, 593 U. S. ___ (2021) (equal); Bernard v. United States, 592 U. S. ___ (2020) (identical). In Reeves’ case, this Court stops the lower court from granting Reeves’ petition through adopting an fully improbable reading of the kingdom court docket’s decision. In essence, the Court turns “deference,” ante, at 7, into a rule that federal habeas relief is by no means to be had to the ones going through execution. I respectfully dissent.

    1  Reeves’ IQ rankings had been even lower after accounting for the Flynn Effect. ECF Doc. 23–24, at 43–46. Dr. Goff concluded that Reeves’ IQ fell inside the highbrow disability variety even with out such an adjustment. Id., at forty four, 99.
    2 The country courtroom separately held that relief turned into no longer warranted due to the fact the court ought to conceive of a legitimate strategic reason for counsel’s moves and because M.D.D. failed to reveal prejudice. See State v. M.D.D., ___ So. 3d ___, ___–___, 2020 WL 6110694, *8–*9 (Ala. Crim. App., Oct. 16, 2020).
    3  As the Eleventh Circuit recognized, this Court has determined deficient overall performance with none testimony from trial suggest. See Reeves v. Commissioner, Ala. Dept. of Corrections, 836 Fed. Appx. 733, 751 (2020) (per curiam) (discussing Buck v. Davis, 580 U. S. ___ (2017)). This Court has additionally found poor overall performance whilst counsel testified and “attempt[ed] to justify their [actions] as reflecting a tactical judgment.” Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U. S. 510, 521 (2003).
    4 The Court has no solution to the explicit description in M.D.D. of the nation court docket’s reasoning in Reeves. Instead, the Court collapses the country courtroom’s alternative holdings in M.D.D., conflating the state court docket’s application of the in line with se rule requiring suggest’s testimony with the country courtroom’s separate motives for denying remedy. Ante, at 12, n. 4. It is proper, as the Court notes, that the kingdom courtroom “examin[ed] the proof and identif[ied] a valid, strategic purpose” for counsel’s moves “after mentioning Reeves and quoting the same language that the dissent claims represents a in keeping with se rule.” Ibid. (internal citation marks disregarded). What the Court fails to mention is that the kingdom court first concluded that the in line with se rule applied in Reeves turned into enough, on its own, to deny alleviation. M.D.D., ___ So. 3d, at ___, 2020 WL 6110694, *eight (“In this example, the failure to have trial recommend testify is deadly to M.D.D.’s claims of useless assistance of suggest,” because “in which the record is silent as to the reasoning behind counsel’s moves, the presumption of effectiveness is sufficient to deny remedy ” (internal quotation marks ignored)). Only after announcing this retaining did the country courtroom one after the other offer two additional, independent reasons for denying alleviation, explaining that “[f]urther,” there has been a “sound, strategic purpose” for counsel’s movements, and “[m]ore[o]ver,” an exam of the document confirmed that M.D.D. had did not reveal prejudice. Id., at *8–*nine. Contrary to the Court’s concept, these opportunity holdings shaped no part of the country court docket’s dialogue of Reeves or software of the in step with se rule. The Court rewrites yet some other kingdom-courtroom decision in provider of its efforts to rewrite this one.
    five  The Court hypothesizes that “[t]he attorneys may additionally thoroughly have pored over the voluminous proof in their ownership—which include those received after their funding request—and identified several reasons that a jury become not going to be persuaded [by] a claim of intellectual disability.” Ante, at 8–9 (noting evidence indicating that Reeves’ “intelligence was underneath common,” however he was now not intellectually disabled, and Reeves’ “history of violence, crook past, and behavior issues”). But suggest already knew of these worries when they moved for Dr. Goff ’s appointment. For example, numerous months earlier than suggest filed their initial motion, they acquired a report from Dr. Ronan’s guilt-segment assessment detailing these troubles. See ECF Doc. 23–thirteen, at 61–sixty three, 65. It is difficult to look how suggest’s later request for the data underlying that assessment could have drastically changed their calculus. See ante, at 3; ECF Doc. 23–1, at 88. Moreover, although recommend had located additional proof related to Reeves’ intellectual incapacity, there could still be a need for an expert to assess the evidence in its totality. Indeed, Reeves’ counsel argued to the state courtroom that, given the volume of proof, they wanted the assistance of a qualified expert to well “assemble” and “correlate” the facts and compare Reeves. Id., at 74–75; see ECF Doc. 23–3, at 91 (suggest arguing that they required Dr. Goff ’s help because “the amount of cloth that we've got acquired through discovery . . . is past our potential to deal with”).
    February five, 2021 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due March eleven
  • Proof of Service
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  • February 18, 2021 Motion to extend the time to record a reaction is granted and the time is extended to and such as April 12, 2021.
    March eleven
  • Certificate of Word Countopposition filed.
  • Record obtained from the USAC.A. 11th Circuit. The report is digital.
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    July 2, 2021 Petition GRANTED. Judgment REVERSED and case REMANDED for court cases regular with the opinion of the Court. Justice Breyer dissents. Opinion per curiam. (Detached Opinion) Justice Sotomayor, with whom Justice Kagan joins, dissenting. (Detached Opinion)
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