Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cain v. Chappel, No. 13-9908 (9-13-17)(Rawlinson w/O'Scannlain & Collins).  The 9th affirmed the denial of a capital habeas petition.  The 9th concluded that the petitioner had received adequate notice of the special circumstance of the homicide, attempted rape.  The 9th found the state supreme court's finding of notice reasonable, the quasi-notice of rape or attempted rape, the factual basis, and counsel's lack of surprise. The 9th also found no IAC in counsel's concession of guilt in the guilt phase stage as the strategy was to save his life and the facts beyond challenge; no IAC in failure to object to the special circumstance in the second amended information because counsel was aware of the underlying charge; and no IAC in failure to investigate or present mental health or diminished capacity defenses. In terms of sentencing, there was no IAC in failure to present mental health and voluntary diminishment. There were risks in presenting such topics.  The Atkins claim was also denied.

The decision is here:


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