Friday, September 13, 2013

Schurz v. Ryan, No. 07-99025 (9-12-13 ) (Kozinski with McKeown and N. Smith)

(Note: This is an AZ FPD case).

The 9th found no IAC in the conviction or sentence for capital murder. The victim was burnt alive as a result of an argument over beer. Trial counsel presented mitigation, arguing the dysfunctional nature of the petitioner's childhood, drug abuse and psychological problems merited leniency. Sufficient, and relevant, mitigation was presented, and it was the mitigation the petitioner wanted. The other possible mitigation evidence was speculative at best. The victim was burnt alive while attempting to flee after accusing petitioner of stealing beer. Basically, the 9th said, that was the case. The finding of aggravation for the means of death (heinous) rendered whatever other mitigation found not reasonably likely to change the outcome.


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