Hensley v. Roden

After a jury trial in Massachusetts state court, Appellant was convicted of the first-degree murder of his estranged wife under both the theory of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed on appeal. Appellant subsequently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the federal district court, alleging (1) his constitutional right to confrontation was violated when the testimony of the chief medical examiner in Massachusetts was admitted, and (2) his attorney provided ineffective assistance by failing to introduce certain mental health related evidence. The district court denied the petition. The First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the SJC’s rejection of Appellant’s Confrontation Clause argument was not contrary to governing Supreme Court precedent; and (2) the SJC did not unreasonably apply Strickland or commit clear factual error when it concluded that Appellant’s attorney’s performance was not deficient. View "Hensley v. Roden" on Justia Law