Friday, February 08, 2019

OK Death Sentence Affirmed

Grissom v. Carpenter, No. 16-6271, 11cv1456 R, 2018 WL 4171015 (Aug. 31, 2018) (W.D. Okla.): Mr. Grissom was convicted in Oklahoma state court of first degree murder and other offenses and sentenced to death. After exhausting his state court remedies, Mr. Grissom filed a §2254 petition raising eleven grounds for relief. The district court denied the petition and granted a certificate of appealability on the issue of whether Mr. Grissom’s constitutional rights were violated when the state trial court concluded that the evidence did not support instructing the jury on lesser-included offenses. Mr. Grissom appealed. The Tenth Circuit granted a COA on two additional issues: ineffective assistance of counsel and cumulative error. The Tenth Circuit held that the state appellate court did not unreasonably apply Strickland in rejecting Mr. Grissom’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on lack of prejudice; trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to request a jury instruction on intoxication and for the lesser-included offense of second-degree murder; Mr. Grissom was not entitled to a jury instruction on involuntary intoxication; and the alleged errors, considered together, did not deprive Mr. Grissom of his right to a fair trial and due process.