Canales, Jr. v. Thaler, No. 12-70034 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, convicted of murder and sentenced to death, was granted a certificate of appealability (COA) from the district court on eight claims related to the ineffective assistance of counsel; petitioner's right to be present at trial; a Massiah claim; Giglio/Napue claim and Brady claim; cumulative errors; jurors lying about their criminal backgrounds; jury communication with the court and bailiff outside of petitioner's and his counsel's presence; and shackling during the punishment phase. The court held that petitioner has established cause to excuse the procedural default of his claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel at sentencing where counsel's performance was deficient because he failed to conduct a mitigation investigation. The court remanded this claim for the district court to consider whether petitioner can prove prejudice. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court as to the other claims.