- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
- Date Filed: 06-08-2012
- Case #: 12-35427
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Per curiam; Chief Judge Kozinski; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and Berzon
- Full Text Opinion
Leavitt was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Leavitt sought relief under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 60(b), claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and requesting an order that evidence be sent to a lab for forensic testing. Leavitt appealed the district court's denial of his claims. The Ninth Circuit noted that it had already addressed many of Leavitt’s claims in earlier habeas corpus proceedings. The Court held that where the expert would have corroborated much of the prosecution’s expert testimony, an attorney’s strategic decision not to call an expert witness was not sufficient to show a “reasonable probability . . . [that] the result of the proceeding would have been different if not for the attorney’s errors." The Ninth Circuit also held that Leavitt failed to show good cause for his request that evidence be sent to a lab, because he had “not explained how the testing that he [sought] would substantiate his underlying claim that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to obtain appropriate testimony from his serology expert.” AFFIRMED.