Kayer v. Ryan

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Petitioner appealed the district court's denial of his motion for a writ of habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 2254(d). The Ninth Circuit, assuming without deciding that there was no procedural default and failure to exhaust, held that, although the Arizona Supreme Court erred in rejecting petitioner's proffered mental impairment mitigation evidence, the error was harmless because the state court made a reasonable determination of the facts in concluding that petitioner suffered from no mental impairment and thus did not violate Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104 (1982). However, the panel reversed in part and held that the Arizona Superior Court erred in holding that petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to counsel was not violated by his counsel's deficient performance at the penalty phase under Strickland v. Washington. Accordingly, the panel remanded with directions to grant the writ with respect to petitioner's sentence. View "Kayer v. Ryan" on Justia Law