Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pizzuto v. Blades, No. 16-36082 (8-14-19)(Per curiam w/Fisher, Gould, & Rawlinson). This is an Atkins capital petition. The 9th affirms the district court’s denial of habeas relief. The Idaho Supreme Court denied Atkins relief because petitioner’s IQ test was above 70. This was before the Supreme Court’s decisions in Hall, Brumfield, and Moore, which found that a strict IQ score above 70 should not preclude intellectual disability consideration. AEDPA deference compelled the 9th to find that the Idaho Supreme Court, in 2008, did not unreasonably apply Supreme Court precedent. 

The 9th did specifically stress that the state Supreme Court could reconsider these Atkins questions in light of Supreme Court subsequent decisions, and with the benefit of an evidentiary hearing, and evolving psychiatric clinical standards. The 9th noted that the court could address whether these standards now would violate the 8th amendment. 

Tough case for Joan Fisher, AFPD, Cal E (Sacramento).

The decision is here:


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