Gaines v Superintendent Benner Twp. SCI

The Third Circuit vacated an order granting the defendant’s petition for habeas corpus. The defendant was convicted in Pennsylvania state court of first-degree murder. After pursuing direct and collateral proceedings in Pennsylvania, the defendant petitioned for habeas relief. The District Court granted the petition, finding that the defendant’s trial counsel was ineffective for not objecting to the trial court’s omission of a jury instruction that no adverse inference could be drawn from the defendant’s election not to testify in his own defense. The Third Circuit reversed and concluded that the District Court erred, ruling that counsel made a reasonable tactical choice when he did not object to the trial court’s failure to give the requested no adverse inference instruction as part of its charge to the jury.

Search entire site by keyword...

Search for Summaries by Hashtag...

Past Opinion Summaries