Division II: If Significant Mental Health History, Ineffective Counsel to Not Retain Mental Health Expert
Fedoruck had a history of mental illness prior to going all killy on someone. The defense attorney did not explore this mental health defense, and that was ineffective assistance of counsel, which allows a retrial:
The extensive history of mental illness outlined above, all of which was available to the defense from the beginning ofthe case, indicates that the decision not to seek to retain an expert to evaluate Fedoruk until the day before jury selection fell below an objective standard of reasonableness. Even if Fedoruk told counsel that he was not involved in Ischenko' s death and did not wish to pursue a mental health defense, counsel could not have assisted him in making an informed decision about the consequences of going to trial on a theory of general denial without first getting an expert opinion regarding Fedoruk' s mental health at the time of the killing. In light of the State' s strong circumstantial evidence against Fedoruk, the failure to obtain an independent expert evaluation appears even less reasonable.
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