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Supreme Court of Louisiana.


No. 2016-KP-1100

Decided: May 01, 2018

Under the standard for ineffective assistance of counsel set out in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052 (1984), adopted by this court in State v. Washington, 491 So.2d 1337, 1339 (La. 1986), a reviewing court must reverse a conviction if the defendant establishes his counsel's performance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness under prevailing professional norms, and the inadequate performance prejudiced defendant to the extent that the trial was rendered unfair and the verdict suspect. While defendant's trial counsel may have erred in failing to pursue at trial information provided earlier by the defense investigator, the defendant has failed to satisfy his burden of proving prejudice by any alleged error. As correctly noted by the court of appeal when it reversed the trial court's ruling granting the defendant a new trial, the record reveals each of the three robbery victims assisted the law enforcement sketch artist with the preparation of a composite sketch of the assailant. Each victim selected the defendant as his assailant in a photographic lineup. Moreover, each of the victims identified in open court the defendant as his assailant. In addition to the defendant's presence at trial, the composite sketch and photographic line-up were presented to the jury for their consideration of whether the victims' identifications were reasonable under the given facts. For these reasons, I would affirm the ruling of the court of appeal.

GUIDRY, Justice, dissents and assigns reasons.