Cases & Deals

Jones Day successfully obtains habeas corpus relief from the Sixth Circuit

Clients Ronald D. Simpson-Bey

In 1986, Ronald Simpson was charged and convicted by a Michigan jury of assault with intent to commit murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. During Simpson's trial, the prosecutor improperly introduced evidence regarding an alleged armed robbery and a shooting committed by Simpson's co-defendant after Simpson had fled the scene. Further, during closing arguments, the prosecutor made several inflammatory statements regarding Simpson calculated to incite the jury against him. After two decades unsuccessfully seeking review before Michigan courts, Simpson filed a petition for habeas corpus in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. On September 29, 2009, the Honorable Denise Page Hood conditionally granted Simpson's petition for habeas corpus relief. The State of Michigan appealed, arguing that Simpson's prosecutorial misconduct claim was procedurally defaulted and unfounded. Jones Day was appointed as counsel for Simpson for purposes of the ensuing appeal. On April 10, 2012, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the district court's ruling, finding that even under AEDPA's deferential standards, the prosecutor's behavior had so infected Simpson's trial with unfairness that the resulting conviction was a denial of due process.

Ronald Simpson v. Millicent Warren, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit No. 09-2347