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Another Sixth Circuit Habeas Split:

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit partially affirmed a district court judgment granting a criminal defendant's habeas petition in Ege v. Yukins. Specifically the court rejected the state's argument that the petitioner's claims were time-barred, and agreed with the trial court that the petitioner's due process rights were violated by the admission of bite-mark evidence, "both because the evidence itself was scientifically and probabalistically unsound and because [the proffering expert witness]had a demonstrated record of unreliability."

It should be no surprise that the Sixth Circuit's decision in Ege was divided. Judge Martin wrote the majority opinion for himself and district court judge Oliver (sitting by designation). Chief Judge Boggs dissented, arguing that the petitioner's claims were time-barred, and that the state court judgment did not merit a habeas petition under federal law.

Dave N (mail):
I read the opinion and the dissent. It appears the majority was appalled that the bite mark expert was aa charlatan and his testimony helped convict the defendant. However, the dissent ably argued that the newly discovered letter was not something that would restart the AEDPA statute of limitations for that claim (the majority correctly determined that the IAC claim was time-barred).

IMHO, the dissent was correct, but I understand why the majority reached the conclusin it did.
4.25.2007 10:02am