Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Holsey: Affirming denial of habeas relief where postconviction evidence was largely cumulative

In Holsey v. Warden, No. 09-14257 (Sept. 13, 2012), the Court (2-1) (Barkett, J., dissenting) denied habeas relief to a Georgia death row inmate convicted of a 1995 murder.

The Court rejected the argument that the Georgia Supreme Court unreasonably determined that the additional mitigating circumstances presented at post-conviction proceedings were “largely cumulative” of the evidence presented at trial. The Court found that at his initial trial, Holsey put mitigating evidence of his own “limited intelligence.” Although in collateral proceedings he later put on evidence of “borderline mental retardation,” most of the evidence in the proceedings was cumulative of earlier-presented evidence. Similarly, while Holsey presented more details of his abusive childhood at his collateral proceedings, the jury at the original sentencing “had heard about his troubled, abusive upbringing too.”