Most IAC claims are made against trial counsel, which is the focus of this column. Simply stated, IAC has two elements: (1) Deficient Performance; and (2) Prejudice. A lawyer performs “deficiently” when he or she doesn’t do the things to defend the client that any reasonable lawyer would do.
Procedural Default (Acknowledging and Avoiding the Kiss of Death). Federal courts generally refuse to hear claims that were defaulted in state court because of an “independent and adequate state procedural rule” that the petitioner failed to follow;
No Facts: When No means Yes…Not so long ago, in a bleak turn of events for habeas petitioners, the U.S. Supreme Court held that where a state court’s decision on a claim is “unaccompanied by an explanation” of its reasoning, the AEDPA requires the Court to perform an “independent review of the record” to determine “whether the state court’s decision was objectively unreasonable.”