Prong 2: Proving that deficient performance prejudiced the defense.
This is a tough one. How do you prove that someone's vote was influenced by a particular action, unless that person says "My vote was directly influenced by X"?
The jury is already prejudiced by the fact that the defendant has been charged with sexual assault of a child. It's that whole mindset of "They wouldn't have charged him if they didn't have a good reason!"
If the defense lawyer had brought up the mother's intentions to squeeze as much cash as possible out of Coy with a civil suit, that *might* have given the jury pause to think that maybe the 'good reason' was greed. But we know that Mr. lewis didn't do that. This would also have established Mommy Dearest as a liar, since she swore in an affidavit that she didn't intend to sue.
An Affidavit is a formal sworn statement of fact, signed by the author, who is called the affiant or deponent, and witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public or commissioner of oaths. -Wikipedia
So if she'll lie in an affidavit, on paper, how much easier would it be to lie in court? This could have been the one thing that would have established doubt in the minds of the jury. But as I said, Coy's lawyer didn't even touch on it. I wonder if that's not why SPM decided to take the stand at the end of the trial, because his lawyer failed to tell the whole story.
Lewis' strategy was this: "to cast O.S.(the child) as a “truth teller” who was manipulated by various state actors, especially the prosecutors, for the sole purpose of convicting Coy at all costs..."
So his strategy is to paint those behind the plaintiff as the liars...don't you think the fact that he ignored evidence as to their motives to be a little ineffective? If this evidence had been presented, it would have raised doubts in the mind of any sane person. Add that to the proof that Mom is already lying to the state, and it paints a pretty clear picture of the reasons for the case, as well as the lack of all physical evidence. I'd say that argument satisfies both prongs of Strickland to anyone who is reasonably objective.
In the 2007 appeal, the court says "The state court found that O.S.’s parents did not decide to file a civil lawsuit against Coy until after the criminal trial was over and that, therefore, Coy failed to establish both prongs of the Strickland test."
But the facts say otherwise.
"Coy argues that the state court’s decision is unreasonable in light of the facts presented at the habeas hearing because he filed the affidavit of Carey Wellmaker, a private investigator, which states:
"I [Wellmaker] have been informed that Maryvel Ramirez denied in an affidavit that she told me that she spoke with Ed Hennessey before the criminal trial; that he said that if he filed a civil lawsuit at that time, it would hurt the criminal case; and that he agreed to file a civil lawsuit after the criminal trial was over.
I reiterate and can substantiate the contents of my previous affidavit, as I recorded the conversation.""
So good news, there's proof! Mom was lying, someone else can substantiate that fact, so we can get an appeal in, right? Wrong.
"The state court was entitled to make a credibility determination between the two affidavits."
Really? When making this determination, how did they end up NOT choosing the affidavit with evidence to support it? Ramirez DID sue for money, which any idiot would have expected.