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United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.

Matthew REEVES, Petitioner - Appellant, v. COMMISSIONER, ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent - Appellee.

No. 19-11779

Decided: August 09, 2021

Before WILSON, MARTIN, and JORDAN, Circuit Judges. Jonathan C. Rudy Hill, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP, Birmingham, AL, Benjamin Isaac Friedman, Sidley Austin, LLP, Chicago, IL, Jodi E. Lopez, Sidley Austin, LLP, Los Angeles, CA, Charles A. Stewart, III, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP, Montgomery, AL, for Petitioner - Appellant. Beth Jackson Hughes, Alabama Attorney General's Office, Montgomery, AL, for Respondent - Appellee.

In Reeves v. Commissioner, 836 F. App'x 733 (11th Cir. 2020), we rejected the intellectual disability claim of Matthew Reeves—an Alabama death row prisoner—but granted him habeas relief on the ground that his counsel had rendered ineffective assistance at the penalty phase. The Supreme Court, however, reversed. It held that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals did not apply a per se rule requiring the testimony of counsel to establish an ineffectiveness claim, and that its decision rejecting Mr. Reeves’ ineffectiveness claim was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). See Dunn v. Reeves, ––– U.S. ––––, 141 S. Ct. 2405, ––– L.Ed.2d –––– (2021).

As noted, we previously ruled against Mr. Reeves on his intellectual disability claim. Given the Supreme Court's decision on the ineffectiveness claim, we now affirm the district court's denial of habeas relief.



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