United States v. Fields, No. 17-7031 (10th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Petitioner Edward Fields pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of first degree murder, two counts of using a firearm during a federal crime of violence causing the death of a person, and two counts of assimilative crime. Fields was sentenced by jury to death on each of the two murder convictions, and to significant terms of imprisonment on each of the remaining convictions. After completing the direct appeal process, Fields initiated proceedings before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals by filing a motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255. The district court denied Fields’s petition, and also denied him a certificate of appealability (COA). The Tenth Circuit subsequently granted Fields a COA with respect to four issues. After its review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded to the district court with directions to conduct an evidentiary hearing on Fields’s claim that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to adequately investigate and present at trial evidence of his organic brain damage.