Harrington v. Richter
United States Supreme Court
562 U.S. ___ (2011)
Richter (defendant) and Christian Branscombe were charged with the murder of Patrick Klein and the attempted murder of Joshua Johnson, among other charges. At trial, the prosecution claimed that Klein was shot and killed lying on a living room couch. The defense asserted that Klein and Johnson had been shot in self defense and that Klein was shot in a bedroom doorway, and was moved to the couch later. At the scene of the crime there was a pool of blood in the bedroom doorway. The prosecution called blood evidence experts to testify regarding the blood. One expert testified that given the blood patterns on Klein’s face, it was unlikely that he had been moved to the couch. The other expert testified that a blood sample taken from the pool of blood at the doorway could be Johnson’s blood, but not Klein’s. Richter’s attorney cross-examined these experts and brought out certain weaknesses in their testimony. The jury convicted Richter. The California Court of Appeals affirmed. The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review. Subsequently, Richter petitioned the California Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus. Specifically, Richter claimed that his attorney’s assistance was ineffective because the attorney did not consult blood evidence experts in the preparing Richter’s defense. The California Supreme Court denied Richter’s petition. Richter then filed a petition for habeas corpus in federal district court. The district court denied the petition and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) affirmed. The Ninth Circuit, however, granted a rehearing and reversed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.