Case Caption: Randy Burke v. Diane Prosper, Acting Warden of the Bureau of Corrections, et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2018-0031Date: 02/13/2019Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: 2019 VI 6Summary:

On appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court denying a petition for a writ of habeas corpus that alleged ineffective assistance of counsel, the judgment is affirmed. Issues previously raised on direct appeal are unsuitable to be re-litigated with a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and thus certain of the claims in this petition are barred. The claim that petitioner was denied effective assistance of counsel by his trial attorney's failure to cross-examine a government witness requires a showing that counsel's performance was deficient and that petitioner suffered prejudice as a result. Regarding the alleged prejudice from failure to cross-examine, any mitigation of the offense such examination could have produced was already in the record for the jury to consider. Even if petitioner was prejudiced by failure to cross-examine the witness, petitioner failed to demonstrate that counsel's decision was not part of a sound trial strategy, and thus has failed to meet the high burden to satisfy either prong for a successful ineffective assistance claim. The claim based on failure to call the medical examiner as a witness is similarly without merit. The judgment dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion