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Goodman v. Bertrand

467 F.3d 1022 (2006)

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Goodman v. Bertrand

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

467 F.3d 1022 (2006)

Facts

After an armed robbery of a convenience store, a man confessed to being a lookout and identified Warren Goodman (plaintiff) as the robber. Goodman was arrested. The store’s manager and cashier each failed to identify Goodman from a lineup, but the manager later identified Goodman from a second lineup. At trial, the store manager and the lookout testified that Goodman was the robber. However, the cashier testified that she had not picked Goodman from the lineup and was not sure he was the robber. The trial ended with a hung jury. At Goodman’s second trial, the lookout, the store manager, and two getaway drivers testified that Goodman was the robber. However, Goodman’s attorney did not subpoena the cashier because he thought the prosecution would call her, nor did he lay the necessary foundation to introduce her prior testimony. Thus, the second jury never heard the cashier’s testimony that she was unsure whether Goodman was the robber. In addition, Goodman’s attorney (1) mistakenly opened the door for evidence that Goodman had committed two prior armed robberies, (2) let the jury believe that Goodman had threatened witnesses without a legitimate evidentiary basis, (3) did not preserve objections to Goodman’s inability to confront witnesses, and (4) did not object or request a mistrial when the prosecution made multiple inaccurate statements falsely strengthening the credibility of the lookout and the getaway drivers. Goodman was convicted. Goodman appealed, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. The state courts denied Goodman’s appeals, finding that Goodman had failed to prove that any individual error by his attorney was so bad that Goodman’s trial was fundamentally unfair or unreliable. Goodman then petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. The district court denied Goodman’s petition, and Goodman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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