Ivan Teleguz is facing imminent execution in the US state of Virginia. However, during his final appeal hearing last month it became clear that new information has emerged that can prove Mr Teleguz's innocence. The result of the hearing is expected any day now, and we remain hopeful that he will be granted an evidentiary hearing.
Below are statements made by Judge Davis and Judge Wynn during the hearing while questioning the Attorney General, in addition to a more extensive transcript.
How can that not be ineffective assistance of counsel for a defence lawyer in a capital case to bring up a non-existent murder allegedly committed by his client who’s on trial for his life?
We’re talking about a capital case. It’s a pretty simple thing. And it seems to just be a more humane way to carry out justice, to simply just give the evidentiary hearing.
But you have two witnesses out of three in this case, attesting under oath, that they lied at trial when they testified, or supported an inference that the petitioner hired them or attempted to hire them to kill the victim. Now they’re saying: No, that never happened. Right? You have one other linchpin witness who won’t say one way or the other. Post-trial. So, I guess my question is: Is all of that irrelevant?
So what if he’s able to show through an evidentiary hearing that you should go in and look at defaulted claims? Then what’s the big deal, because he has no defaulted claims upon which he can prevail. Is that your argument? (...) You assume for the sake of argument, (…) that he has no defaulted claims that are worth listening to.
And that’s his point – he only had three witnesses. You had nothing else corroborated, and two of those witnesses come back and say: I was telling a lie. That sounds to me like it might be a basis for saying that this man might actually be innocent.