Thursday, May 17, 2007

Procedural Hurdle. A convicted burglar sought habeas relief, challenging identity evidence that was admitted against him at trial. The petition had been denied by the District Court on the merits, but the Second Circuit, in affirming the decision of the District Court, did not reach the merits, holding that review was barred by independent and adequate state law grounds. The criminal defendant had not raised the issue at trial, barring him from raising it on appeal or in a habeas proceeding.

Judge Straub dissented, arguing that the criminal defendant had adequately raised the issue at trial and that the trial court had rendered a decision on the issue. Having set aside the procedural bar, Judge Straub found that the New York Appellate Division had unreasonably applied clearly established Supreme Court law relating to the issue. He would have granted the relief sought.

The decision in Garvey v. Duncan can be found here.

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