Monday, July 19, 2010

Rhoades v. Henry, No. 07-99023 (7-15-10) (Rymer with Gould and Bybee). The Supremes said that Ring (requiring capital jury sentencing) was not retroactive in Summerlin, 542 U.S. 348 (2004) but that states could apply Ring retroactively. See Danforth v. Minnesota, 552 U.S. 264 (2008). This was the case here, where petitioner asked the Idaho Supreme Court to apply Ring retroactively. The Idaho supreme court said "no"to retroactive application, applying a Teague analysis, and denied relief. The 9th now turns to the merits, and denies relief on IAC claims. The 9th holds that counsel adequately investigated mitigation, and made a reasoned strategic choice to present an innocence claim rather than ask for mitigation based on petitioner's childhood abuse, drug use, polio, IQ, and other personal matters. These matters, moreover, were alluded to in mitigation, when 20 witnesses were called. There appears to have been no IAC. Moreover, the court's finding of aggravators and the underlying facts would show no prejudice as the result would have been the same.


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