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Herrera v. Collins


herrera v. Collins

in proximity to the execution. CardozSchool of LawBirmingham School of LawBoston College Law SchoolBoston University School of LawBrigham Young University. Leonel Torres Herrera was arrested a few days later and was charged with the capital murder of both Carrisalez and Rucker. After pleading guilty to the related capital murder of officer Rucker, petitioner unsuccessfully challenged the Carrisalez conviction on direct appeal and in two collateral proceedings in the Texas state courts, and in a federal habeas petition. 335 (1963) (right to assistance of counsel In re Murchison, 349.S. Of Justice, 3 Attorney General's Survey of Release Procedures 73 (1939). A person when first charged with a crime is entitled to a presumption of innocence, and may insist that his guilt be established beyond a reasonable doubt. New York, 432. Supreme Court of the United States ruled by 6 votes to 3 that a claim of actual innocence does not entitle a petitioner to federal habeas corpus relief by way of the, eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Borchard, Convicting the Innocent (1932).

Of course, Hernandez testified at petitioner's trial that the murderer was the only occupant of the car. Herrera included two affidavits with his petition from Hector Villarreal, an attorney who had represented Herrera's brother, Raul Herrera,., and Juan Franco Palacious, Raul Herrera's former cellmate. His last words were: "I am innocent, innocent, innocent. See McCleskey, supra, at _ (slip., at 33). Few rulings would be more disruptive of our federal system than to provide for federal habeas review of free standing claims of actual innocence. Ex parte Herrera,. Acceptance of this view would presumably require the habeas court to hear testimony from the witnesses who testified at trial as well as those who made the statements in the affidavits which petitioner has presented, and to determine anew whether or not petitioner is guilty. Other evidence showed that Herrera's, social Security card had been found alongside Rucker's patrol car on the night he was killed. He supported this claim with affidavits tending to show that his now-dead brother, rather than he, had been the perpetrator of the crime. Under the dissent's approach, the District Court would be placed in the even more difficult position of having to weigh the probative value of "hot" and "cold" evidence on petitioner's guilt or innocence. Because the Florida scheme for determining the sanity of persons sentenced to death failed "to achieve even the minimal degree of reliability., at 413, the plurality concluded that Ford was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his sanity before the District Court.

He also testified that there had been only one person in the car that night. And although the District Court would not be required to hear testimony from the witnesses who testified at trial or the affiants upon whom petitioner relies, it would allow the District Court to do so "if the petition warrants a hearing." Post,.


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