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Bracy v. Gramley

Brief Fact Summary. Defendant sentenced to death by a corrupt judge pressed a judicial-bias claim.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a defendant can demonstrate “good cause” for discovery in a judicial-bias claim, he may then rebut the presumption that the judge “properly discharged their official duties.”

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

Held: Petitioner has made a sufficient factual showing, under Habeas Corpus Rule 6(a), to establish good cause for discovery on his claim of actual judicial bias in his case.

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Facts. Defendant Bracy was convicted for an execution-style triple murder. He was sentenced to death by Judge Maloney. Maloney was proven to be corrupt. Defendant contended that his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process rights were violated.

Issue. “Whether petitioner is entitled to discovery under [the Habeas Corpus rules] to support his judicial-bias claim.”

Held. Yes. The Supreme Court prefaced its holding by listing the tangled history of Maloney’s corruption, concluding that “if it could be proved.

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