Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Osborne: Habeas Denied: Counsel Not Ineffective

In Osborne v. Terry, No. 04-16751 (Oct. 16, 2006), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Georgia inmate sentenced to death for two 1990 murders.
The Court rejected claims that trial counsel was ineffective during the guilt phase for failing to put on exculpatory evidence regarding the manner in which the victims were killed. The Court noted that since the defendant confessed to the killings, much of the evidence regarding the killings would have been irrelevant, or not of sufficient significance to alter the outcome of the trial.
The Court also rejected claims that counsel was ineffective during the penalty phase. The Court noted that counsle was not ineffective for failing to put on evidence of Osborne’s use of drugs, when Osborne himself had denied any drug use to his attorney.
The Court also affirmed the state trial court finding that there was no evidence to support Osborne’s claim that his attorney failed convey to him a plea of life, on account of the attorney’s racial animosity toward Osborne. The Court affirmed the finding that the offer was conveyed, and declined by Osborne. Further, the claim was procedurally barred.