Clark v. Arnold, No. 12-15601 (Bybee with Wallace and Mahan, D.J.) ---
AEDPA strikes again. The 9th affirms the denial of a § 2254 habeas petition raising ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with the defendant's competency to stand trial. (The petitioner was the defendant in Clark v. Arizona, 548 U.S. 735 (2006).) The sad facts are that the petitioner, mentally ill, shot a law enforcement officer. He was found incompetent, then competent, and then tried to the court Arizona's restricted M'Naghten standard for insanity (not knowing the act was criminal). The issues were whether trial counsel should have proceeded "observational evidence" for insanity; whether he should have raised competency during trial; and appellate counsel's IAC. Under AEDPA's deferential standard, the state court's decision was not unreasonable that IAC did not occur. The same with the competency issue in that counsel relied upon the court's ruling rather than his own opinion. Finally, there was no ineffective assistance of appellate counsel.
The decision is here: