"In an amicus brief filed Monday, the ABA urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm that counsel representing habeas petitioners should be able to investigate new evidence without first proving that the evidence will provide relief to their clients.

“Counsel is obliged to conduct adequate investigations at each stage of the case, and the evidence that will emerge is never foreordained,” according to the ABA’s amicus brief. “The facts discovered through a reasonable investigation will inform counsel’s ascertainment of available claims, but they may also establish the procedural viability of a claim, particularly in federal habeas proceedings in which no sufficient investigation has been performed by prior counsel (who may also be unavailable or uncooperative).”

The ABA filed the amicus brief in Shoop v. Twyford, a case involving a death row inmate who requested transport to a hospital for a neurological examination that could support claims that his trial counsel was ineffective.”

This article was originally posted in the ABA Journal.

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