Monday, July 25, 2016

Ayala v. Chappell, No. 13-99005 (7-2-16)(Christen with Kozinski and Bybee). The 9th affirms the denial of a capital habeas petition.  The main IAC focus was on the decision not to abandon a trial strategy (no gang involvement) in light of changing testimony (recanting of an exoneration).  The 9th held that it was not IAC to stick with the trial strategy, and that a pivot away from no gang involvement in a triple homicide in the course of trial could be considered a strategic and tactical decision that was reasonable. The 9th also found the state courts' rejection of witness intimidation claims and Brady disclosure to be reasonable.

The decision is here:


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