Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crittenden v. Chappell, No. 13-17327 (10-26-15)(Fisher with Berzon; dissent by McKeown).
The 9th affirms the granting of habeas relief in a California capital case. The relief was given because of a Batson violation. The 9th affirmed that the district court's finding that the prosecutor's motivation in striking an African-American was substantially racial. The finding was not clearly erroneous.  A Batson violation occurs and relief can be granted, holds the 9th, even if the strike would have occurred for a nonracial reason (her qualms about capital punishment). See Cook v. LaMarque, 593 F.3d 810 (9th Cir 2010). AEDPA deference is not applicable because the California Supreme Court's decision was contrary to established federal law.

Dissenting, McKeown takes issue with the finding that the primary motivation was race. 
The decision is here:





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