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Moreland v. Bradshaw

September 20, 2006

SAMUEL MORELAND, PETITIONER,
v.
MARGARET BRADSHAW, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz

District Judge Thomas M. Rose

DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY

This capital habeas corpus case is before the Court on Petitioner's Motion for Additional Discovery (Doc. No. 40) which Respondent opposes (Doc. No. 42).

The additional discovery sought is narrow: depositions of recordkeepers from the three local television stations who might have provided coverage for Petitioner's trial in 1986. Petitioner seeks to show that he did not waive a jury trial. The lack at this time of any videotape showing such a waiver obviously will not be dispositive of any claim that there was no waiver, given the amount of time which has expired. However, Petitioner's counsel have unsuccessfully sought to allay Petitioner's concerns on this score by inquiring informally and that has not satisfied the Petitioner's concerns.

Respondent observes that granting the Motion would authorize a "fishing expedition." The Court agrees that Petitioner has not shown that the evidence he seeks is likely to exist, but any fishing authorized by this Order is spear fishing rather than net fishing. Because the additional cost in time and money of conducting these depositions is minimal and may serve to allay Petitioner's concerns, the Motion for Additional Discovery is granted.

September 20, 2006

Michael R. Merz Chief United States Magistrate Judge

20060920

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