Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Styers v. Ryan, No. 12-16952 (12-3015)(Bea with Farris and Kozinski)(Note:  The Az FPD represents a co-defendant).

The 9th affirms the denial of petitioner's motion for a Ring resentencing.  The 9th had previously granted a conditional writ to the Arizona Supreme Court due to Eddings error.  (If this sounds familiar, Eddings and the Arizona Supreme Court was the focus of yesterday's en banc decision in McKinney v. Ryan, No. 09-99018 (9th Cir. Dec. 29, 2015)(en banc).

Here, when the 9th granted the conditional writ, the Attorney General moved the Arizona Supreme Court to reweigh.  The court did.  This case involved the murder of a young boy. In weighing the mitigation of PTSD, the court found concluded that since the PTSD had no casual nexus to the offense, it had very little weight and would not alter the death sentence.  The 9th also held that the petitioner was not entitled to a Ring jury resentencing.  The 9th used AEDPA deference to uphold the state supreme court in concluding that the conviction was final, and that the writ from the 9th had instructed only a reweighing.

Two of the judges on this panel were dissenters on the McKinney en banc panel.  Indeed, Bea wrote the dissent, where he accused the majority in McKinney of smearing the Arizona Supreme Court. 

The decision is here:


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