Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ferguson: Faretta Habeas Claim requires review of state trial transcript

In Ferguson v. Culliver, No. 07-13030 (May 13, 2008), the Court reversed the denial of habeas relief to an Alabama inmate.
The defendant claimed that the Alabama state trial court denied him his Faretta right to self-representation. In habeas proceedings, the State did not produce the transcripts of Ferguson’s trial, but instead relied on an appellate court decision which had affirmed the denial of Farretta relief. The Court held that the district court erred in merely relying on an appellate court decision in denying habeas relief. The district court should have reviewed the trial transcripts for its determination of this "fact-intensive" issue.