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Kokal v. Sec'y., Dep't. of Corrs., No. 08-11722

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By FindLaw Staff on October 18, 2010 5:21 PM

In Kokal v. Sec'y., Dep't. of Corrs., No. 08-11722, a capital habeas matter, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, holding that the Florida Supreme Court did not err in finding that trial counsel was not constitutionally ineffective in preparing for the sentencing phase of petitioner's trial.

As the court wrote:  "In this capital case, Gregory Alan Kokal claims that he was denied the
effective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment. Kokal was sentenced to die by a Florida state court for the first degree murder of Jeffrey Russell, a sailor in the United States Navy. During post-conviction proceedings, the Florida Supreme Court concluded that Kokal's trial counsel was not constitutionally ineffective in preparing for the sentencing phase of his trial. Kokal again raised a Strickland claim in this federal habeas corpus petition alleging that his trial counsel failed to investigate mitigating mental health evidence."

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