Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Consalvo: Credibility issues not suited to habeas

In Consalvo v. Sec. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 10-10533 (Dec. 12, 2011), the Court affirmed the denial of habeas relief to a Florida death row inmate.

The Court found that all of Consalvo’s challenges to his state murder conviction involved the credibility of witnesses. “Determining the credibility of witnesses is the province and function of the state courts, not a federal court engaging in habeas review.” The Court found no unreasonable factual determination by the state courts.

The Court also rejected the challenge to the sentence based on the trial court having relied on deposition testimony that was not presented in open court. The Court found this error “harmless” in light of fact that the facts referenced in the deposition testimony were also established by other competent evidence at trial.