Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Benson v. Chappell, No. 13-99004 (5-1-20)(Callahan w/Bea; partial concurrence and dissent by Murguia). The 9th affirmed denial of petitioner’s capital habeas. Applying AEDPA deference, the 9th found the statements were admissible and counsel was not IAC.  Murguia, dissenting, would find IAC regarding the penalty phase.  Evidence of petitioner’s grotesque physical and sexual abuse  was readily available but was never discovered and obviously not introduced to the jury. This failure is fundamentally unreasonable.

Editorial note: The horrific physical, sexual, and mental abuse is some of the worse I have ever read. See pages 77-81.

The decision is here:


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