Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, March 10, 2017

Butts: rejecting ineffective assistance of counsel claim

In Butts v. GDCP Warden, No. 15-15691 (March 9, 2017), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Georgia death row inmate, rejecting his claim that counsel was ineffective for failing to develop mitigating evidence during the sentencing phase of his trial. The Court found that the defense team “thoroughly” investigated mitigating evidence. The Court declined to second guess trial counsel’s strategic decision to focus on residual doubt instead of mitigation evidence.