Lucio v. Lumpkin, No. 16-70027 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of habeas relief to petitioner, who was convicted of capital murder for beating to death her two-year-old daughter. Petitioner argues that the state trial court denied her constitutional right to present a complete defense by excluding two expert witnesses from testifying at the guilt phase of her trial. The now-vacated panel decision concluded that petitioner fairly presented a complete-defense claim to the state courts; the state courts simply overlooked it; and petitioner therefore got the benefit of de novo review of her complete-defense claim in federal court. The court concluded that this was error.
The court concluded that the state courts adjudicated petitioner's claims on the merits and thus the relitigation bar in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) applies. Evaluating the relevant state court decisions under the relitigation bar, the court rejected petitioner's contention that she satisfied the relitigation exceptions. In this case, the court rejected petitioner's claim that the state court's decision was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of Crane v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 683 (1986); the state court's decision was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284 (1973); and the state court's decision was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding. The court noted that various dissenting opinions contradict AEDPA, Supreme Court precedent, and the record in this case.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on October 17, 2018.