In Diaz v. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 04-12795 (March 14, 2005), the Court (Edmondson, Marcus, Pryor) denied habeas relief to a Florida inmate sentenced to death for a 1979 murder. The Court rejected a number of claims of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. As to each claim, the Court noted the deferential AEDPA standard that applied, and concluded that no ineffective assistance occurred because the claim Diaz pressed would clearly have failed if raised on direct appeal in the Florida courts.
The Court also rejected the claim that shackling Diaz during the trial, employing extra security, and ordering that all potential jurors be searched deprived him of a fair trial. The Court noted that Diaz’ violent history warranted the security measures.
The Court also rejected the argument that Diaz’ counsel was ineffective during the sentencing phase, concluding that counsel made an adequate investigation, and made conscious tactical decisions at sentencing.