Ruiz v. Stephens, No. 11-70011 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Petitioner was convicted of murder-for-hire and sentenced to death. Petitioner subsequently sought a certificate of appealability after the district court denied him 28 U.S.C. 2254 relief. Defendant asserted a Wiggins claim for constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. The court believed that there was virtually no chance - let alone a "reasonable possibility" - that petitioner's new habeas evidence would have affected the sentencing outcome. The court concluded that, because there was no debatable issue on prejudice, the court need not reach the question of whether defendant's trial counsel's failure to introduce new habeas evidence at trial amounted to deficient representation. Accordingly, the court denied the motion for a certificate of appealability.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on February 21, 2017.