Ballard v. Ferguson (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment on appeal. Defendant later filed a petition for habeas relief. After an omnibus hearing, the circuit court found that Defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to investigate a confession by a third party that he had killed the victim. The State appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order granting Defendant habeas relief in the form of a new trial, holding that Defendant's counsel provided constitutionally deficient performance and that, but for counsel's errors, there was a reasonable probability the results of the proceedings would have been different.