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Partial Grant of Habeas Relief For Murder Conviction Reversed

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By FindLaw Staff on August 03, 2010 5:49 PM

Saranchak v. Beard, 08-9000, concerned a challenge to the district court's partial grant of defendant's petition for habeas relief from the first degree murder conviction of his grandmother and uncle and a sentence of death.  In reversing, the court held that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's rejection of the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel regarding the counsel's failure seek suppression of certain statements was not an unreasonable application of, or contrary to, clearly established federal law.  The court also held that the defendant failed to establish a reasonable probability that, but for the admission of his statements to the state police, the result of the proceeding would have been different.  Also, the defendant failed to establish a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors in failing to investigate and present a proper diminished capacity defense, he would not have been convicted of first degree murder, and defendant failed to show that he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States."

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