Wooten v. Norris, No. 06-4068
District court's denial of Arkansas death-row inmate's petition for habeas relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel is affirmed where: 1) defendant's claims are procedurally defaulted as he failed to develop the factual basis for his claim in state court; 2) counsel's conduct, although deplorable, was not an external factor that would remedy the default; 3) counsel's misconduct did not destroy the agency relationship between counsel and defendant; 4) defendant's actual innocence claim is rejected as the district court did not err in determining that the evidence tendered by the new counsel did not create a reasonable probability that a jury could have acquitted defendant or found the death-qualifying aggravator inapplicable; and 5) district court correctly rejected defendant's Rule 59(e) motion and his motion to stay federal proceedings as defendant's motion to Recall and Reopen is not a proper vehicle for exhausting state remedies in Arkansas or creating a state record that might support federal habeas claims.
Submitted: September 25, 2009
Filed: August 26, 2009
Opinion by Melloy, Circuit Judge