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United States ex rel. Gilbert Rivera v. Gayle Franzen (Rivera II)

794 F.2d 314 (1986)

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United States ex rel. Gilbert Rivera v. Gayle Franzen (Rivera II)

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

794 F.2d 314 (1986)

Facts

Gilbert Rivera (plaintiff) previously filed a habeas suit in federal court against the director of the department of corrections, Gayle Franzen (defendant). Gilbert argued that his attorney, Lionel Livingston, had provided ineffective assistance by failing to investigate Gilbert’s mental health for an insanity defense and presenting only a theory of self-defense. The district court found that although Livingston had no reason to know about Gilbert’s mental health history, Livingston’s failure to investigate constituted ineffective assistance. The court likened an attorney’s duty to investigate to the court’s duty to inquire on competence. The district court, however, denied Gilbert’s habeas petition after finding that Gilbert had failed to establish prejudice under Strickland v. Washington. Gilbert appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that Strickland should not be applied retroactively to his case and that an exception for prejudice existed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Flaum, J.)

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