Monday, July 11, 2011

Hurles v. Ryan, No. 08-99032 (7-7-11) (D. Nelson with Pregerson; dissenting by Ikuta).

The 9th reverses on the basis of judicial bias. The trial judge became involved in an interlocutory appeal, tried to appear as a party,and then presided over the murder trial and was the capital sentencer. The possibility of actual bias rose to an unconstitutional level. The judge had involved herself in the interlocutory appeal; had made comments about the case before witnesses had testified; and the comments about the competency of counsel. Dissenting, Ikuta decries the lack of AEDPA deference,and believes it should be followed here. The interlocutory appeal involved a legal issue, and one that can be set aside from bias.


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