Justia U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Hedlund v. Ryan

By
The court filed an amended opinion reversing in part and affirming in part the denial of habeas relief, and order denying a petition for rehearing en banc. Petitioner, convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to death, appealed the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. 2254 habeas corpus petition. The court concluded that the relevant state court decision, relating to petitioner's claims regarding (1) the use of a leg brace as a security measure during trial; (2) the use of dual juries; (3) juror bias; (4) counsel's performance during the plea process; and (5) counsel's performance during the penalty phase, was not contrary to, nor an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law or based on an unreasonable determination of the facts before that court. The court concluded, however, that the Arizona Supreme Court applied a "causal nexus” test, whereby not all mitigating evidence was considered under Lockett v. Ohio, Eddings v. Oklahoma, and their progeny. Consequently, this decision was contrary to established federal law and the court reversed, remanding with instructions to grant the petition with respect to petitioner's sentence. View "Hedlund v. Ryan" on Justia Law