East v. Scott

55 F.3d 996 (1995)

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East v. Scott

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
55 F.3d 996 (1995)

Facts

Wayne East (defendant) was convicted of capital murder for killing Mary Sears while burglarizing her home. A former prosecutor retained by the Sears family assisted the district attorney in prosecuting East. East’s conviction was affirmed, and his state and federal habeas corpus petitions were denied. East filed a second federal habeas petition, alleging that a private attorney’s participation in his prosecution violated his due-process rights. East claimed that the private attorney (1) controlled significant trial-strategy decisions, including the decision to offer a plea bargain to the prosecution’s key witness; (2) conducted an independent pretrial investigation; (3) interviewed witnesses without the district attorney’s supervision or control; (4) delivered the prosecution’s opening and closing arguments and examined the prosecution’s most important witness; and (5) was an experienced capital-murder prosecutor. The district court dismissed East’s petition. On appeal, East argued that the district court erred in dismissing his petition without permitting discovery regarding his due-process claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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