Sanborn v. Parker, 07-5309 - U.S. Sixth Circuit
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Sanborn v. Parker, 07-5309

Petition for habeas relief from capital murder conviction

Sanborn v. Parker, 07-5309
, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief from his capital murder conviction for the most part but grant in part on the grounds that the admission of certain testimony at the penalty phase constituted unconstitutional governmental interference with the right to counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment.


The court held that, because the defendant has not demonstrated that the use of a witness's testimony during his trial was a constitutionally impermissible intrusion, nor that it was prejudicial, the Kentucky Supreme Court did not act contrary to Weatherford or any other clearly established federal law in holding that the Commonwealth's use of that testimony did not violated his rights to counsel, and as such, district court's grant of habeas relief on those grounds is reversed.  In affirming in part, the court held that because the Kentucky Supreme Court's decision on defendant's claim of interference with attorney-client and priest-penitent privileges was predicated on its determination, as a matter of state law, neither Kentucky's attorney-client privilege nor its priest-penitent privilege extended to defendant.  The court also held that evidence at defendant's second trial was constitutionally sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of the aggravating factors of rape and sodomy.  Further, defendant's second state court trial did not violate his Fifth Amendment rights by placing him in double jeopardy.  Lastly, the court held that defendant's Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel during the guilt phase of trial was not violated.

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