Fisher v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellant Ronald Fisher was found guilty of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Derrick Cullins. At Appellant’s trial, the bulk of the evidence against him (including the only testimony directly identifying him as the shooter) came from David Lewis, who claimed that he was not involved in the crimes even though he admitted that he drove Appellant and the victim to the crime scene, was present during the shooting, and drove Appellant away afterwards. Defense counsel sought to call a witness to impeach Lewis' testimony, but that witness did not show for trial. Defense counsel also agreed to a jury instruction that the testimony of a single witness was generally sufficient to establish a fact without requesting an instruction on an exception that if the witness was an accomplice, his testimony should have been properly corroborated. Fisher appealed when he was ultimately convicted, raising his counsel's allegedly constitutionally ineffective assistance. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded that defense counsel's performance was indeed constitutionally ineffective, and reversed Appellant's convictions. However, because the evidence at trial was legally sufficient to support the
guilty verdicts, the State could retry him if it chose.