Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pace: Failure to Investigate Crack Addiction Not Ineffective

In Pace v. McNeil, No. 07-15528 (Feb. 3, 2008), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida death-row inmate convicted of a 1988 murder.
The Court rejected Pace’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Pace claimed that counsel failed to adequately investigate Pace’s addiction to crack cocaine. The Court noted that Pace told defense counsel that he was not under the influence of crack cocaine at the time he committed the murder. Further, a "crack cocaine" defense was a double-edged sword.