The Circuit issued three Opinions today that are relevant to people litigating issues of criminal law. Below is a brief description, which will be followed up with more discussion later.
I. In Pierotti v. Walsh, No.15-1944-pr (Circuit Judges: Pooler, Livingston, and Lohier), the Circuit ruled in favor of a State prisoner. It holds that his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, presented under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, is not procedurally barred.
The petitioner in the case was hearing impaired since childhood and required two hearing aids. His last hearing aid was destroyed while he was in jail awaiting trial. The ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”) claim was that his trial lawyer did not take measures to ensure his hearing disability was accommodated at trial, so he could not understand much of what was occurring.
The IAC claim was not raised on direct appeal. But it was presented in a …