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House v. Bell

United States Supreme Court
547 U.S. 518 (2006)


Facts

Paul Gregory House (defendant) was charged with capital murder. At trial, the prosecution presented evidence that blood, semen, and other physical evidence implicated House. The jury convicted. At sentencing, the state presented aggravating evidence of House’s prior conviction for sexual assault and that that the killing was committed in the course of a rape. House was sentenced to death. House petitioned for federal habeas corpus relief for claims procedurally barred in the state court on the basis of actual innocence. House offered new evidence that the victim’s husband committed the murder and the blood and semen evidence were faulty. The district court held a full evidentiary hearing and concluded that the witnesses were not credible and the blood evidence was not contaminated until after testing. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Roberts, C.J.)

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