Ballard v. Thomas

After a jury trial, Petitioner was found guilty of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child and sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary. Two years later, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction habeas corpus relief, arguing that his former defense counsel was ineffective for failing to submit proper jury instructions on whether Petitioner was a “person in a position of trust” as to the victim and whether the victim was under Petitioner’s “care, custody, or control” at the time of the sexual encounter. The circuit court granted Petitioner’s petition. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the failure to offer the instructions did not constitute deficient performance by counsel. View "Ballard v. Thomas" on Justia Law