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Hayward v. Belleque

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-15-2012
Case #: A142078
Wollheim, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J.; Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/A142078.pdf

Post-Conviction Relief: The reasonableness of trial counsel's performance is evaluated from the counsel's perspective at the time of the alleged error and in light of all the circumstances.

Defendant was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to death in 1996. He appealed the post-conviction court’s rejection of his claims relating to trial counsel’s ineffectiveness during the guilt and penalty phases of trial. The Court addressed three of Appellant’s contentions regarding his counsel’s deficiencies, rejecting the rest as unnecessary of full discussion. 1) The Court affirmed the post-conviction court’s finding that the evidence of Defendant’s interest in Satanism and death metal music to be relevant, concluding that the probative evidence far outweighed its prejudicial effect and trial counsel was reasonable in failing to object. 2) The Court found that counsel’s investigation and presentation of mitigating evidence was adequate and the evidence supported the post-conviction court’s findings. 3) Trial counsel could not have reasonably predicted that a failure to object to brief foundational testimony during the guilt phase would result in a waiver of subsequent objections to additional victim impact evidence in the penalty phase, and nevertheless was not prejudicial enough for relief; therefore, the Court upheld the decision of the post-conviction court. Affirmed.