Richardson v. Griffin

Mobley was shot in the leg; the shooter fled. The only physical evidence found by Gary, Indiana police was one spent shotgun shell. Earlier that day, Richardson had argued with his girlfriend while standing in Mobley’s yard. Mobley ordered them to leave. Only Holden was willing to give a formal statement to Detective Azcona, stating that “Chris” was the shooter. Azcona later testified that other, unidentified, sources stated that "Chris" had shot Mobley. Three weeks later, officer Hornyak received an anonymous phone call identifying Richardson as the shooter. After Richardson’s arrest, Azcona first spoke with Mobley. He brought prepared questions, which contained numerous references to “Chris.” Azcona showed Mobley a photo array and asked him not if he could identify the shooter, but whether he could identify “Chris Richardson.” Mobley chose his picture. Holden did not testify. Mobley admitted that he was drunk at the time he was shot, but stated that Richardson shot him. No other witness identified the shooter. The shotgun shell was not tested for fingerprints. Azcona testified about Holden’s identification of the shooter. The jury convicted Richardson. The Seventh Circuit reversed a denial of habeas relief. Indiana’s courts unreasonably applied the Supreme Court’s Confrontation Clause cases. The use of Holden’s testimony and that of the unnamed informants to prove that Richardson was the shooter violated Richardson’s Confrontation Clause rights View "Richardson v. Griffin" on Justia Law