Thursday, January 23, 2020

Cook v. Kernan, No. 17-17257 (1-21-20)(Callahan w/N. Smith; concurrence by Callahan; dissent by Murguia). AEDPA deference compels the affirmance of this habeas denial. Convicted of three first-degree murders, and having his death sentence commuted to life under Atkins, the petitioner argued his confessions were involuntary and taken in violation of Miranda. The petitioner had mental deficiencies and met the Atkins standard. In affirming the denial of relief, the majority held that, under AEDPA deference, the California Supreme Court’s decision was not unreasonable. Even the fact that it was a summary denial still required deference. 

Concurring, Callahan wrote that even if there was error, and the state reached the issue of prejudice, she would agree that it was harmless.

Dissenting, Murguia would find that the state supreme court’s decision was unreasonable as to the Miranda waiver and prejudice.

The decision is here:



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