Ortiz v. Uribe, No. 09-55264 (11-18-11) (Alarcon with O'Scannlain and Silverman).
The murder suspect, after waiving his Miranda rights, was ushered into an office in the sheriff's department, where he met a seemingly kind, motherly, and oh so empathetic polygraph examiner. They talked of many things, including nervousness, doing what was proper for the family, and the need for his version as opposed to only the co-defendant's. Lo and behold, there was no need for the polygraph after all, since he confessed to the shooting. The kindly examiner? A deputy sheriff. The petitioner challenged his confession, arguing that he was tricked, and his will overborne. No so, said the state courts; not so, said the district court; and the 9th affirmed the "not so," holding that the petitioner's will was not overborne; he was not forced to confession by moral overpowering; and that the tactics were acceptable. Oh yes, because of AEDPA, the state court's findings were to be given deference.