Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, July 29, 2016

Nejad: No habeas relief for Georgia inmate who claimed he was not told about his right to testify

In Ali Nejad v. Warden, No. 15-14856 (July 27, 2016), the Court denied habeas relief to a Georgia inmate who claimed that his trial lawyers in his Georgia state rape trial were ineffective in failing to advise him that he could testify in his own defense despite counsel’s advice to the contrary. The Court noted that the transcript of the trial did not indicate that the trial judge informed Nejad of his right to testify. Nonetheless, noting that there were gaps in the transcript, and crediting the prosecutor’s testimony that she definitely remembered that Nejad was informed by the judge of his right to testify because it was her first rape trial and she was getting ready to cross-examine the defendant and was relieved when he answered the judge that he would not testify, the Court deferred to the State trial court’s determination, in the face of conflicting testimony, that Nejad knew he could testify regardless of the advice of his attorneys.