District of Arizona  
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Capital Habeas Cases 2010
October 26, 2010 - - Aryon Williams v. Ryan - - The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of Williams's federal habeas petition, and remanded the case to the district court. The Ninth Circuit granted both a district court evidentiary hearing on Williams's Brady claim and sentencing relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing claim. Opinion
October 20, 2010 - - In re: Gonzales - - The Ninth Circuit granted Gonzales's petition for writ of mandamus and remanded the case to the district court for an evidentiary hearing on Gonzales's competency to assist counsel in his federal habeas proceedings. The district court had previously ruled that because the remainder of Gonzales's claims were record based, it did not matter if Gonzales was competent because his assistance was not needed in briefing those claims on the merits. Gonzales filed a petition for writ of mandamus from this decision. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, concluding that Gonzales was in the best position to provide first-hand insight into the previous proceedings, and thus his assistance was necessary in litigating his remaining claims. Opinion
October 1, 2010 - - Lee v. Schriro - - The district court denied the habeas petition in Darrel Lee's case. The court granted three certificates of appealability, all involving claims of ineffective assistance of counsel: presentation of a "false" alibi defense, failure to fully investigate a voluntary intoxication defense and failure to investigate and present relevant mitigation evidence at sentencing. Order
September 28, 2010 - - Ramirez v. Schriro - - The district court denied the remaining claim in Mr. Ramirez's habeas petition. The court found that Mr. Ramirez's claim that his trial counsel was ineffective at sentencing was procedurally defaulted and no exception to the procedural default exists. The court issued two certificates of appealability, one regarding an Ake violation at trial and one regarding the procedural default of the sentencing IAC claim. Order
September 22, 2010 - - Towery v. Schriro - - The Ninth Circuit affirms the district court's denial of relief on Towery's claims regarding prosecutorial misconduct for inconsistent use of witness testimony, a Napue claim re: knowing use of false evidence by the state and a related Brady claim. Opinion
September 3, 2010 - - Murdaugh v. Ryan - - The district court denied Mr. Murdaugh's habeas petition less than one year after the petition was filed. The court issued eleven certificates of appealability in this case, including as to whether Murdaugh is entitled to relief based on Ring error, causal connection error, IAC regarding waiver of mitigation, lack of adequate competency determination, incompetence to waive mitigation, IAC of appellate counsel, IAC at trial re: guilty pleas, guilty pleas not knowing, intelligent and voluntary, lack of adequate determination of competence to plead guilty, incompetence to plead guilty, and IAC of appellate counsel re: competence to plead guilty. Memorandum
August 20, 2010 - - Detrich v. Ryan - - The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's decision denying the habeas petition and remanded with instructions to grant the writ of habeas corpus. Two grounds were cited: sentencing counsel's ineffectiveness is failing to rebut the state's aggravation case and sentencing counsel's ineffectiveness in failing to investigate and present mitigation. Opinion
July 30, 2010 -- Miles v. Ryan --The district court denied habeas corpus relief. The court certified one issue for appellate review: Whether counsel was ineffective at sentencing for enlisting an unqualified expert, failing to request a substance abuse expert, failing to focus on addiction as a mitigating factor, and failing to thoroughly investigate Petitioner’s social history. Memorandum
June 10, 2010 - - West v. Ryan - - The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision denying habeas relief. The court found that while Mr. West was diligent for purposes of obtaining a federal evidentiary hearing, he had failed to raise a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing. Opinion
May 11, 2010 - - Smith v. Ryan - - After holding an evidentiary hearing based on the Ninth Circuit's previous remand order, the district court denied Mr. Smith's claim that he had established cause sufficient to overcome the procedural default of his sentencing ineffectiveness claim. Because the court did not find cause, it declined to reach the question of prejudice. Opinion
March 31, 2010 -- Greene v. Ryan-- The district court denied habeas corpus relief and issued a certificate of appealability on two questions both relating to ineffective assistance of counsel: did counsel perform ineffectively by presenting testimony and advising the client to testify untruthfully, and was counsel ineffective at sentencing for failure to present testimony by a toxicologist. Order.
March 11, 2010--Stanley v. Ryan--The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, reversed the district court and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing. Opinion
February 22, 2010--Robinson v. Schriro--The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court and remanded with instructions to issue a writ of habeas corpus. Two grounds were cited: the state court arbitrarily and capriciously applied the H,C, or D aggravator to Robinson; and counsel was ineffective at sentencing. Opinion
January 29, 2010--Milke v. Ryan--On remand from the Ninth Circuit, the district court determined the state proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Milke waived her Miranda rights. Order
January 29, 2010--Robert Jones v. Ryan--The district court denied habeas corpus relief and certified one issue for review: whether petitioner established cause to overcome the procedural default on his claim alleging that the prosecutor suborned perjury from detectives to bolster the credibility of a witness. Order
January 21, 2010--Poyson v. Ryan--The district court denied habeas relief and issued a certificate of appealability on the following issues: were Poyson's rights violated when the state applied a causal connection test to mitigating evidence and did it refuse to consider all mitigating evidence; and is the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel procedurally barred. Order

 

 
 

 

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