Is a Lawyer Who Didn't Call An Independent Expert Considered Ineffective

In People v. Todd, 178 Ill. 2d 297, 227 Ill. Dec. 516, 687 N.E.2d 998 (1997), the defendant claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to call an independent forensic expert. The defendant noted that the State's experts could not link the defendant to any of the hairs discovered at the crime scene, and the defendant believed that an additional expert would have undermined the State's theory that he removed the victim's clothing and strangled her without depositing any of his own hair. Todd, 178 Ill. 2d at 329. The supreme court concluded that defense counsel was not ineffective for failing to present an additional expert on the subject. The court noted that the defendant's argument was speculative because he could not show whether any expert could state the claim in scientific terms. Todd, 178 Ill. 2d at 330.