Cullen v. Pinholster
What's at Stake
Whether the federal courts properly granted habeas corpus relief to the death row inmate in this case after concluding that the state courts had unreasonably rejected his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.
The ultimate question in this federal habeas proceeding is whether a death row inmate’s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel was unreasonably rejected by the state courts.
The amicus brief submitted by the ACLU in support of the inmate focuses on when, and under what circumstances, it is appropriate for federal habeas courts to engage in independent fact-finding.