Danforth v. ChapmanAnnotate this Case
Justin Chapman was convicted of arson and felony murder regarding a 2006 fire that was intentionally set outside the front door of his duplex apartment, resulting in the death of a resident who lived on the other side of the duplex. The Supreme Court affirmed Chapman’s conviction in 2012. Chapman filed a petition for habeas relief, asserting six substantive claims: ineffective assistance of trial counsel; ineffective assistance of appellate counsel; "Brady/Giglio" violations; "Crawford v. Washington" violations; prosecutorial misconduct; and actual innocence. The habeas court granted relief, finding that there were three Brady/Giglio violations and a violation of "Crawford v. Washington." In addition, the habeas court found Chapman’s appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate the case and for failing to raise the Brady and Crawford violations on appeal. The habeas court did not reach Chapman’s remaining habeas claims. In case S15A0147, the Warden appealed, and in case S15X0148, Chapman filed a cross-appeal. The Supreme Court concluded the habeas court did not err in its decision, so the Warden's appeal was denied. Inasmuch as the Court affirmed the grant of habeas relief, the Court determined Chapman's cross-appeal was moot.