Opinions Relating to Orders - 2018

McGee v. McFadden

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, dissenting from denial of certiorari. Pro se petitioner Shannon McGee has a strong argument that his trial and resulting life sentence were fundamentally unfair because the State withheld material exculpatory evidence. See Brady v. Maryland, 373 U. S. 83, 87 (1963). The state courts offered flawed rationales for rejecting that claim. Nevertheless, the District Court denied McGee federal habeas relief, and both the District Court and the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit summarily declined to grant McGee a “certificate of appealability” (COA), 28 U. S. C. §2253(c), concluding that his claim was not even debatable. Without a COA, McGee cannot obtain appellate review on the merits of his claim. See ibid. Because the COA procedure should facilitate, not frustrate, fulsome review of potentially meritorious claims like McGee’s, I would grant the petit

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