State v. Lacy (Majority)Annotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of capital murder. The jury sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affirmed. Thereafter, Defendant filed a petition pursuant to Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. The circuit court granted Defendant a new sentencing hearing based on counsel’s admission that his performance had been inadequate. The court, however, denied Defendant relief on the basis that counsel should have presented a defense of mental disease or defect. The State appealed from the first finding, and Defendant appealed from the second finding. The Supreme Court (1) reversed on appeal, holding that the circuit court analyzed the case under a subjective legal standard rather than assessing counsel’s performance under an objective standard; and (2) affirmed on cross-appeal, holding that the circuit court did not err in denying relief based on counsel’s failure to present an affirmative defense.