- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
- Date Filed: 06-10-2020
- Case #: A163249
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Oretega, P.J. for the Court; Egan, C.J.; & Powers, J.
- Full Text Opinion
At trial, Petitioner was convicted of several offenses, including intentional murder. ORS 163.115(1)(a). Petitioner’s post-conviction relief petition was denied, to which Petitioner assigned error on appeal. Petitioner argued that she received “ineffective assistance of counsel” because her trial lawyers did not investigate her mental illness, diminished intellectual capacity, and substance dependence. US Const Amend VI; Or Const art I, § 11. The State contended that Petitioner did not show that she was prejudiced. Under both the state and federal constitutions, post-conviction relief claims of ineffective assistance of counsel requires a claimant to show prejudice. For state claims, when claimants assert counsel’s investigation was inadequate, prejudice means that there is “more than a mere possibility” that a “reasonable investigation” would have yielded a different result at trial. See Richardson v. Belleque, 362 Or 236, 268 (2017). The Court found that there was not “more than a mere possibility” that a “reasonable investigation” would have changed the result of the trial. According to Petitioner’s lead counsel, she opposed any strategy that required her to admit to the act of homocide; mens rea defenses, however, require admission of the act. See ORS 161.295; ORS 163.135. Therefore, the Court held that Petitioner was not prejudiced by counsel’s investigation. Affirmed.