State v. ScottAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction for the murder of his wife on grounds that Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel, holding that there was insufficient information to conclude that counsel's course of conduct was deficient or prejudicial.
During trial, when Defendant tried to testify about a threat he claimed his wife had made a few days before he shot her, the trial court excluded the testimony on hearsay ground. On appeal, Defendant argued that his lawyer's failure to argue that the threat was not hearsay constituted ineffective assistance. The court of appeals agreed and reversed Defendant's conviction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the court of appeals did not know or consider the specifics of the threat, it was impossible to determine whether Defendant's trial counsel was ineffective under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).