In Gaskin v. Sec. Dep’t Corrections, No. 06-12351 (Aug. 3, 2007), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida inmate sentenced to death for two 1989 murders.
The Court rejected the claim that defense counsel was ineffective for failing to present mitigation evidence. The Court found that defense counsel made a defensible strategic decision in view of the damaging evidence that would have come out had the defendant’s personal history become an issue.
The Court also rejected Gaskin’s challenge to the failure to grant his change of venue motion, based on pretrial publicity. The Court found that he failed to show the kind of saturated publicity that would allow the Court to presume prejudice.