Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, January 26, 2009

Magwood: AEPDA Bars Claim In 2nd Petition That Could Have Been Raised In First

In Magwood v. Culliver, No. 07-12208 (Jan. 23, 2009), the Court denied habeas relief to an Alabama inmate sentenced to death for a 1979 murder of a Sheriff.
Magwood claimed that at his Alabama resentencing, the retroactive application of an Alabama Supreme Court precedent interpreting its death penalty statute violated Due Process. The Court, however, found that the AEDPA barred Magwood from raising this claim in a "second or successive" habeas petition, because Magwood could have raised this claim in his first petition.
The Court also rejected Magwood’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim for failing to challenge the application of the Alabama Supreme Court precedent at his resentencing. At the time of the resentencing, the caselaw was adverse to Magwood, and it was not ineffective for counsel to fail to challenge the validity of this state caselaw.