Friday, July 10, 2009

U.S. v., Gerritsen, No. 06-50552 (7-10-09). Defendant was a "pirate" in the sense of radio broadcasting. He kept interfering with official broadcasts, and when he interrupted a Homeland Security drill, the law came after him. He had other past state convictions, too. When charged, and a trial date set further than he wanted, he insisted on representing himself. Indeed, he represented himself six times previously in the state. The district court warned him that it would be dangerous, cautioned him, and laid out the pitfalls. Defendant would not be denied. The court had the prosecutor state the maximum sentence, which the prosecutor said was 22 years. It was not. It was "only" 20 years. At the superseding indictment, defendant was warned again, and given the correct sentence he faced. After trial, with guidelines of around 33 months, he got 84. On appeal, he argued that he was not given his full Faretta warnings, and that he was misinformed of the sentence. The 9th said he was not. Ikuta joined by Trott and Kleinfeld concluded that he knowingly and intelligently waived his right to representation. The opinion does a good job of setting out the standard.

Ramirez v. Yates, No. 07-15087 (7-10-09). In another equitable tolling case, the 9th (Hawkins joined by Hug and B. Fletcher) remand to see if the deprivation of the petitioner's legal files for one period constituted sufficient cause for tolling. The 9th held that petitioner's efforts for discovery and filing of other equitable writs did not merit equitable tolling.


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