September 30, 1997
John William Cockrum #854
I would like to
apologize to the victimís family for all of the pain I have
I would like to tell my
family I love them and I hope to see them again soon.
Lord Jesus, thank you
for giving me the strength and the time in my life to find Jesus
Christ and to be forgiven for all of my sins.
Thank you for the
changes in my life you have given me, the love and closeness of
my family, and my beautiful daughter.
Thank you for using me
John William Cockrum was sentenced to death for the May 29, 1986,
shooting death of Eva May, an elderly clerk at a store in DeKalb.
In 1993, he ceased trying to stop his execution and
wrote a letter to the court in which he indicated that he wanted to
discharge his attorneys and allow his execution to proceed without
challenge. He was found not competent to represent his own interests by
a court in 1994.
Cockrum's last words were spoken as the lethal mixture
of drugs tool effect: "Thank you for the change in my life you have
given me, the love and closeness of my family and my beautiful daughter.
Thank you for using me..."
119 F.3d 297
John COCKRUM, Petitioner-Appellee,
Gary L. JOHNSON, Director, Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, Institutional Division, Respondent-Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals,
July 29, 1997.
Appeal from the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Before HIGGINBOTHAM, WIENER and
BARKSDALE, Circuit Judges.
PATRICK E. HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit
This opinion decides an appeal. It
is also an extraordinary account of perverse allocations of
government resources in a capital case. In 1986, two court-appointed
lawyers and an investigator had six months to prepare for a trial
that ended in a death sentence for John Cockrum. A state district
judge in a small community in far east Texas presided over the jury
trial, running the court with no secretary or law clerk. The lawyers
were paid $3,500 and $3,200 respectively for their time. After
Cockrum's death sentence and unsuccessful appeal, a federal district
judge refused to allow Cockrum to forgo further review in federal
The United States District Court
unleashed its full power by appointing counsel and allowing these
lawyers to develop over a three-year-period the trial that the
federal district court concluded ought to have been conducted in the
first place. Supported by a federal payroll and unfettered access to
the discovery weapons of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
including subpoenas, the newly appointed lawyers took twenty oral
depositions, including the deposition of the state trial judge, and
retained a forensic psychologist and lawyer to offer expert
testimony. Viewing this hypothesized trial conducted ten years after
the state trial, the federal court held that the lawyers in the
state trial did not provide a constitutionally adequate defense.
After oral argument and review of
the entire record, we conclude that even the federal case developed
with these large resources would not likely have made a difference
in Cockrum's sentence.
* A jury in Bowie County, Texas,
convicted Cockrum of the murder of Eva May, an elderly lady who ran
a rural convenience store and was known to keep cash for use in
cashing payroll checks. Before dawn on May 29, 1986, Cockrum entered
the store, which was attached to May's residence, robbed May, and
then shot her in the head at close range. Jerry Morgan, who drove
Cockrum to the scene, remained in the car and did not learn of the
slaying until later.
The state district
judge appointed Rick Shumaker and David Malaby to defend Cockrum.
They in turn hired an investigator. The case went to trial in
December of 1986. Confronted with powerful physical evidence and the
corroborating testimony of Morgan, who entered a plea agreement,
Cockrum's counsel failed to convince the jury not to convict Cockrum
of capital murder.
During the punishment phase of the
trial, Cockrum's counsel called Wayne Green, a corrections officer
at the jail where Cockrum was held pending trial. Green testified
that Cockrum had been a good prisoner. The defense also called
Cockrum's mother and two sisters, who in brief and direct testimony
described him as a loving son and brother--who ought not be executed.
Especially important for our
purposes is what Cockrum's counsel did not do during the punishment
phase. The defense knew of his chronic drug use, but they decided
not to pursue that side of Cockrum's history and did not attempt to
use his drug problems as an explanation of the murder. They also
knew that when Cockrum was seventeen years old he had killed his own
father. Although they could have attempted to portray the killing as
the result of domestic abuse and the cause of Cockrum's
psychological instability, they chose not to mention it to the jury.
For its part, the state called
three law enforcement officers from the local area who testified
that Cockrum's reputation for being a law-abiding citizen was bad.
It also presented evidence of Cockrum's three prior felony
convictions: burglary of a building in 1979, attempted burglary in
1985, and possession of marijuana in 1986. The jury did not, however,
learn about a long list of Cockrum's other violent and destructive
acts, including the killing of his father.
The jury sentenced Cockrum to
death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction
and sentence, and the Supreme Court denied Cockrum's petition for a
writ of certiorari. Cockrum v. State, 758 S.W.2d 577 (Tex.Crim.App.1988),
cert. denied, 489 U.S. 1072, 109 S.Ct. 1358, 103 L.Ed.2d 825 (1989).
Three years later, the state trial
judge who had presided at Cockrum's trial rejected Cockrum's
petition for collateral review of his conviction and sentence.
Without conducting an evidentiary hearing, he entered findings of
fact and conclusions of law to the effect that Cockrum's trial
attorneys were not ineffective in defending Cockrum during the
sentencing phase. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found the
trial court's findings supported by the record and denied Cockrum's
application for a writ of habeas corpus. The trial court scheduled
his execution for April 21, 1993.
On April 9, 1993,
Cockrum wrote to the federal district court and to his attorneys to
ask that the state be allowed to carry out the death sentence. The
federal court appointed Dallas attorney Alan Rich as Cockrum's
counsel. On April 16, 1993, Rich filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus on behalf of Cockrum in the Eastern District of Texas.
The federal trial court stayed the execution, and on April 26 it
forwarded to the state's counsel a copy of Cockrum's letter.
Nearly a year later, on April
11-12 and July 5-6, 1994, the district court conducted a hearing on
Cockrum's competency to waive collateral review, and on August 4,
1994, it held that he was not competent to do so. In re Cockrum, 867
F.Supp. 484 (E.D.Tex.1994). Rich was then appointed to act as
Cockrum's next friend. In re Cockrum, 867 F.Supp. 494 (E.D.Tex.1994).
Rich ultimately filed a federal habeas petition with twenty-five
separate claims for relief. The district court allowed discovery
under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Then it allowed Rich to
withdraw and appointed two lawyers from the Texas Defenders Service,
Mandy Welch and Richard H. Burr, III, as new next friends.
Finally, in February of 1996,
nearly three years after Cockrum's first federal petition was filed,
the district court conducted a hearing on the four claims remaining,
all others having been voluntarily dismissed: (1) suppression of
evidence and failure to correct misleading testimony regarding
Morgan's plea bargain; (2) trial venue; (3) jury misconduct in
discussing the possibility of parole at the punishment phase; and
(4) ineffective assistance of counsel at the punishment phase.
In a careful and detailed opinion
filed on July 25, 1996, the district court first held that the state
trial court's findings on collateral review enjoyed no presumption
of correctness because they were tainted by ex parte discussion on
the merits between the trial judge and the state's counsel. Cockrum
v. Johnson, 934 F.Supp. 1417, 1424-31 (E.D.Tex.1996). The district
court then rejected the first three claims, id. at 1431-40, but it
upheld the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, id. at
1440-49. The district court issued a writ of habeas corpus directing
Cockrum's release or retrial.
We turn now to the
federal district court's view of how Cockrum should have been
defended. In doing so, we must keep in the forefront the reality
that, even if one can find fault in the failure to locate evidence
or to offer known evidence, much mitigating evidence has a dark side.
* The district court faulted
Cockrum's trial counsel at every turn and credited Cockrum's mother
and sister's testimony that Cockrum's counsel had little contact
with them before trial and did not seek information about mitigation
witnesses. It found Malaby was not credible; that with "a little
prompting," the mother and sisters could have added compelling
detail to the short and nonspecific testimony given at trial. Id. at
1445. Rejecting the testimony of the two lawyers and the
investigator, the district court found that "Cockrum's attorneys
made no attempt to locate witnesses to testify at the punishment
phase or to investigate mitigating evidence to present on their
client's behalf." Id.
According to the district court, "the
near total lack of preparation by Cockrum's attorneys for the
punishment phase fell below an objective standard of reasonableness."
Id. at 1447. While acknowledging the difficulty of such an
undertaking, the court described the case defense counsel ought to
[Cockrum's] father was an
alcoholic police officer who became violent when intoxicated,
physically abusing the applicant, his sisters, and his mother. At a
very early age--nine or ten years old--the applicant began using
illegal drugs and continued to do so until he was arrested on the
charges for which he was ultimately sentenced to death. At the age
of fifteen, he allegedly set fire to his school and was confined to
a state correctional facility for boys.
His family situation did not improve when he
returned home at the age of sixteen. When the applicant was
seventeen, he shot his father during one of his father's drunken,
abusive episodes. A few weeks later, his father died of his wounds.
Before he died, the applicant's father told authorities that the
shooting was an accident; therefore, the applicant never faced
criminal charges arising from the shooting. However, it is clear
that the shooting had a profound impact on the applicant. His drug
abuse escalated, and he attempted suicide at least twice. He married
and had one daughter, but his marriage failed. Eventually, he became
addicted to methamphetamines.
Id. at 1443 n. 22 (quoting
In re Cockrum, 867 F.Supp. at 485). According to the district court,
failing to investigate this story and relate it to the jury amounted
to a violation of the first prong of Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 668, 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984), which
requires a showing "that counsel made errors so serious that counsel
was not functioning as the 'counsel' guaranteed the defendant by the
In spite of David Malaby's
experience in picking juries in Bowie County each week for the
previous five years, the district court rejected the explanation of
Cockrum's counsel that in their judgment offering evidence of their
client's drug use or the fact that he shot and killed his father
would not be helpful in a trial to a Bowie County jury. Defense
counsel testified at the federal habeas hearing that they were
concerned about opening the door during the guilt phase to the
state's evidence of acts of violence. The district court observed
that this concern did not explain the limited submission at the
sentencing hearing because evidence of bad acts would be admissible
in the penalty phase in any event. In short, the district court
concluded that trial counsel could have done more.
Of course, a claim of ineffective
assistance requires not merely ineffectiveness, but ineffectiveness
that prejudices the criminal defendant. A petitioner must show "that
counsel's errors were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a
fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable." Strickland, 466 U.S.
at 687, 104 S.Ct. at 2064.
The district court, therefore, had
to hypothesize what Cockrum's counsel would have discovered if they
had explored Cockrum's personal history and expanded their
punishment-phase presentation to make the jury more familiar with
their client. According to the district court, counsel could have
depicted Cockrum as a significantly more sympathetic figure than the
one that emerged from the truncated punishment phase that counsel
chose to use.
competent investigation in preparation for a punishment phase in
this case would have produced a wealth of readily available
information about Cockrum's family background and medical history.
Had she been asked, Cockrum's mother could have provided valuable
insight into her deceased husband's increasing problems with alcohol
and his periods of violence toward his family, the complex
relationship between Cockrum and his father, and the profound impact
of his father's death on Cockrum's behavior, Deposition of Barbara
Sutherland, Dec. 12, 1995, at 31-39; Transcript, Feb. 22, 1996, at
89-91 (testimony of Barbara Sutherland); she could have informed
Cockrum's attorneys about her son's long history of hospitalization,
Transcript, Feb. 22, 1996, at 93-95 (testimony of Barbara Sutherland);
and she could have provided a list of persons who thought highly of
Cockrum and who would have made excellent mitigation witnesses,
including Miledge Oglesby, John Blackburn, and J.R. O'Rear. See id.
at 115-19 (testimony of Barbara Sutherland). Had Cockrum's medical
and institutional records been subpoenaed, they would have revealed
a period of institutionalization at the Texas Youth Commission's
Gatesville State School for Boys, Second Amended Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus, app. O-2, a long history of severe drug abuse, id.
app. O-4, several suicide attempts, id. app. O-6; id. app. O-8, and
several psychotic episodes, including one in which a twenty-five-year-old
Cockrum thought that he was seventeen years old again and that his
father was still alive, id. app. O-11. If a mental health
examination had been conducted, Cockrum could have been diagnosed
with post-traumatic stress disorder, antisocial personality disorder,
polysubstance abuse, and dysthemia (long-term depression), all with
their roots in Cockrum's shooting of his father. Transcript, Feb.
20, 1996, at 22 (testimony of Jack Randal Price, Ph.D.).
Although it is clear that
Cockrum's attorneys provided deficient performance at the punishment
phase by failing to conduct any meaningful investigation, the more
difficult question posed by this claim is whether counsels'
deficiencies prejudiced Cockrum. The State did not, as it could have,
put on evidence of unadjudicated conduct from Cockrum's past, and
much of the evidence that Cockrum's attorneys could have learned
possesses both aggravating and mitigating characteristics. It is
thus difficult to hypothesize, in this case, what a penalty phase
defense would have looked like after a reasonable investigation,
much less how a jury would have reacted to it.
This evidence could form the basis
of a persuasive case that (1) explained why Cockrum was violent--i.e.,
the enduring mental health consequences of his father's killing that
led to a deepening cycle of drug abuse, suicide attempts, and
violence; (2) identified his potential for responsible behavior and
his capacity for forming close relationships with others--i.e., his
long period of employment with J.R. O'Rear, the high opinion that
O'Rear, Miledge Oglesby, and John Blackburn had of Cockrum despite
knowledge of his failings, and the close ties Cockrum maintained
with his mother and sisters; and (3) demonstrated why, if given a
life sentence, Cockrum could be rehabilitated--i.e., the crippling
drug addiction and the mental diseases from which he suffered could
be alleviated through the professional treatment available in the
prison system and the support of his family.
The court recognized the
difficulties the defense would confront with such a strategy. "[I]t
would be nonsense to contend that a jury could not find a person
with a long history of severe drug abuse, a diagnosis of antisocial
personality disorder, and an extensive criminal record culminating
in a cold-blooded murder to be a continuing threat to society." Id.
at 1448. Nevertheless, it held that calling certain of Cockrum's
acquaintances to the stand and dwelling on Cockrum's difficult past
would have made such a large difference that Cockrum had shown
Had this case been made, Cockrum's
chances for obtaining a life sentence would have been significantly
enhanced, and there is a reasonable probability--understood as "a
probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome"--that
a jury would not have concluded unanimously, beyond a reasonable
doubt, that Cockrum posed a continuing threat to society. Strickland,
466 U.S. at 694, 104 S.Ct. at 2068.
Cockrum has not appealed the
disposition of three of his four theories: suppression of evidence,
improper venue, and jury misconduct. The remaining issue--ineffective
assistance of counsel--is a mixed question of law and fact that we
review de novo. Strickland, 466 U.S. at 698, 104 S.Ct. at 2070;
Boyle v. Johnson, 93 F.3d 180, 187 (5th Cir.1996), cert. denied, ---
U.S. ----, 117 S.Ct. 968, 136 L.Ed.2d 853 (1997).
We will assume without deciding
that Cockrum's counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing
to mount a thorough investigation of Cockrum's history. See Spriggs
v. Collins, 993 F.2d 85, 87 (5th Cir.1993) ("A court need not
address both components of this inquiry if the defendant makes an
insufficient showing on one."). As we will explain, however, we
disagree with the district court's conclusion that any shortcomings
of trial counsel at the sentencing phase met the second Strickland
In other words, even if we were to
concur in the district court's unwillingness to give deference to
the findings of the state habeas judge and the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals, and even if we were to agree with the findings of
its de novo review, we are not persuaded that the error rendered the
sentencing proceedings "fundamentally unfair or unreliable."
Lockhart v. Fretwell, 506 U.S. 364, 369, 113 S.Ct. 838, 842, 122
L.Ed.2d 180 (1993).
We conclude that Cockrum failed to
show "a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
different." Strickland, 466 U.S. at 694, 104 S.Ct. at 2068. We agree,
of course, that a different result would have been possible. But the
second prong of Strickland demands more. A review of the evidence
the district court thought would probably have made a difference
makes plain the absence of the required showing of prejudice.
The district court pointed to J.R.
O'Rear, Miledge Oglesby, and John Blackburn as witnesses with "high
opinions" of Cockrum "despite knowledge of his failings." J.R.
O'Rear employed Cockrum for several years as a bricklayer and would
have testified that he was a good worker with a pleasant personality.
But he also would have had to admit that he ultimately refused to
allow Cockrum to continue working for him because of drug and
alcohol abuse. Instead of lending credence to the theory that
Cockrum is a victim, cross-examination of O'Rear could have
suggested to the jury that Cockrum had the ability to lead a
constructive life but chose instead to pursue drugs and crime.
Blackburn's daughter Brenda was
married to Cockrum for several years and bore him a daughter. They
divorced in 1984. The couple lived on Blackburn's property, and
Cockrum worked on Blackburn's construction crew. According to
Blackburn, Cockrum could be a productive, likeable worker. But
Blackburn's relationship with Cockrum also had a dark side that the
prosecution could have exploited during the punishment phase. Toward
the end of the marriage, Blackburn repeatedly confronted Cockrum
about the bruises he saw on Brenda's body. He also told Cockrum that
he disapproved of his abuse of alcohol.
In 1986, at the time of the trial,
Blackburn admits, he harbored "ill feelings" toward Cockrum because
of his daughter's failed marriage. Although he claims he would have
been willing to testify on Cockrum's behalf at the punishment phase,
the prosecution could have turned his testimony against Cockrum by
intimating that Cockrum's crime fits into a larger pattern of
violent, anti-social conduct.
Miledge Oglesby was an itinerant
minister and school teacher who got to know Cockrum when Cockrum was
in the seventh grade. Oglesby was fond of Cockrum and wanted to help
him, but once again cross-examination could have seriously damaged
Cockrum's case. Cockrum was a problem in school from the moment
Oglesby met him. Oglesby "ran interference for him for years" by
attempting to smooth over his relationships with other school
When Cockrum was in danger of
being expelled for ransacking the band hall, Oglesby persuaded the
school board instead to transfer him to Hooks, another high school.
Oglesby had a heart-to-heart discussion with Cockrum about his
tenuous future and emphasized that he had gone out of his way to
help Cockrum. Cockrum promptly tried to burn down the Hooks school
Once apprehended, Cockrum became a
youthful offender under the supervision of the Texas Youth Council
and spent a year away from his abusive home environment. Within a
year of returning home, he had killed his father. Even Oglesby has
admitted that Cockrum had a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality. A jury
listening to this tale could easily view Cockrum's response to
Oglesby's heroic efforts as contemptuous.
Again, the facts are at least as
consistent with the theory that Cockrum is entirely responsible for
his own deep-seated destructive tendency as with the theory that he
is at least partially a victim of abuse and tragedy.
As difficult as it is to see how
Oglesby's testimony could have helped, it is not the most
problematic evidence that, according to the district court,
Cockrum's counsel should have offered. In the story of Cockrum's
killing of his father, the district court saw a life story of abuse
by an alcoholic father. But the story is more volatile than that.
The father was a Bowie County
deputy sheriff, and the prosecution could have raised troubling
questions about the account of the killing in the father's medical
records. Those records stated that "in the course of the fight, [Cockrum]
became extremely angry, picked up a .22 caliber rifle, put in a
shell and shot his father."
There is evidence
that local authorities did not prosecute Cockrum because his father
told his fellow deputies in a dying declaration that the shooting
was an accident. To succeed in the strategy the district court
imagines, the defense had to present Cockrum as a victim of abuse
justifying the killing. But this evidence lay as a springboard for
the state to ridicule claims of abuse. Cockrum's father's statement
was arguably a compassionate attempt to protect the very son who
took the time to get a gun, load it, and shoot him.
Compounding this difficulty, it is
doubtful that Barbara Sutherland, Cockrum's mother, would have
testified to abuse. The district court failed to attend to her
testimony in a December 12, 1995, deposition that there was no abuse
and that theirs was a loving home.
I felt like they had put it very
harshly, that there was no child abuse. I mean, I don't know what
people call child abuse. Nowadays, all you have to do is hit a child
and it's reported child abuse. But we grew up in a loving family and
I know that there was times that the children were whipped--if you
want to say this--or punished by their father, more so when he was
drinking, and it was because he wanted them to be better than maybe
what he was doing right then with his life.
Sutherland admitted that her
husband was sometimes abusive when he was drinking, but she said
that the lawyers had misrepresented Cockrum's family life.
There is powerful evidence that
Cockrum himself would not have supported the abuse theory. Indeed,
he tried to abandon his appeals when his lawyers attempted to
portray Cockrum's father as abusive, only to have the federal court
conclude that he was not competent to make that decision. Moreover,
his family supported his decision and refused to assist the lawyers
at the competency hearing in 1994.
Only later, in the December 1995
deposition and the February 1996 hearing on the merits, did
Sutherland agree to testify--nearly 10 years after Cockrum's
conviction. Even then, the details of abuse were sketchy, and she
did not describe the killing of her husband. Habeas counsel
carefully steered clear of the question.
Dr. Price, the psychologist,
offered the central theory that shooting his father exacerbated
Cockrum's difficulties. But Price also conceded that the medical
records the district court said should have been used reflect a
diagnosis of Cockrum as a sociopath --a diagnosis made before
Cockrum killed his father. Price testified at the federal hearing
that he would have testified, if asked, a decade before that Cockrum
would likely not pose a danger in prison. In order to probe Dr.
Price's present certainty about hypothesized testimony he would have
given, the state sought to pursue the suggestion that Cockrum had in
fact stabbed a fellow inmate.
The federal trial judge refused to
allow this line of questioning. Regardless, even if Cockrum had
allowed the use of a psychologist, which we doubt, calling a
psychologist in the sentencing phase was fraught with risk. As the
state's brief points out, "a psychologist would have been require[d]
to account for Cockrum's extensive history of antisocial conduct....
Further, a psychologist would be required to concede that Cockrum
would be a future danger if not imprisoned and held under specific
conditions." This history included Cockrum's failure to benefit from
his prison incarceration as a youthful offender.
Even Cockrum's expert witness at
the federal habeas hearing, an experienced criminal defense lawyer
who was critical of defense counsel's preparation, could not say
that he would have presented evidence of Cockrum's troubled past.
The violence and drug abuse, this expert admitted, had the potential
to turn the jury against Cockrum. The expert took the defense
counsel to task for failing to make better use of Cockrum's mother
and sister at trial. By drawing out more detail, he explained, the
attorneys could have humanized the defendant. This fails, however,
to credit the force of a mother's simple plea for her son's life.
And it ignores the line counsel walked to keep from the jury the
fact that Cockrum had killed his own father. Pushing harder would
have invited the prosecutor to explode the image of a sweet, loving
In sum, we pass over the district
court's decision that Cockrum's defense was ineffective under the
first prong of Strickland and move directly to the trial that ought
to have been, as constructed by the district court. Perhaps counsel
could have done more to locate evidence. Accepting the district
court's decision that the lawyers failed to do so, we have the
benefit of what the district court points to as evidence they should
The district court's conclusion
that Cockrum did not receive constitutionally adequate counsel
during the sentencing phase falters at this point. Given the back
edge of the case that the district court found ought to have been
presented, we cannot conclude that doing so would probably have
produced a different decision by the jury. We know that the strategy
adopted did not work. Colored by that knowledge, it is easy to
conclude that the result of the post-hoc version would have been
better--it certainly could not have been worse. But even with the
post-hoc look, we cannot find a reasonable probability of a
The jury was not told of Cockrum's
prior imprisonment, his physical abuse of his wife, his killing of
his father, his extensive drug use, or his ransacking of one school
and the burning of another in the face of Oglesby's long efforts to
help him. A strategy of presenting Cockrum as a sympathetic figure,
to be spared for his brutal killing, would have required at least
It is possible that, spun together
as the district court suggested, this east Texas jury would have
spared his life. But even that is a stretch, and even that is not
enough. See Hernandez v. Johnson, 108 F.3d 554, 562-64 (5th
Cir.1997); West v. Johnson, 92 F.3d 1385, 1410 (5th Cir.1996), cert.
denied, --- U.S. ----, 117 S.Ct. 1847, 137 L.Ed.2d 1050 (1997);
Woods v. Johnson, 75 F.3d 1017, 1035 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, ---
U.S. ----, 117 S.Ct. 150, 136 L.Ed.2d 96 (1996); Callins v. Collins,
998 F.2d 269, 278 (5th Cir.1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1141, 114
S.Ct. 1127, 127 L.Ed.2d 435 (1994) (all rejecting ineffective-assistance
claims where alleged failures to investigate mitigating evidence did
not prejudice the defendant because of the double-edged nature of
the evidence available).
The judgment of the district court