Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sansing v. Ryan, No. 13-99001 (5-17-21)(Watford w/Callahan; Berzon dissenting). Note: Az FPD CHU case. The 9th affirmed denial of a capital habeas petition. AEDPA cast its deferential shadow over the claims. The petitioner raised a Ring claim (jury not judge capital sentencing) and various IAC claims regarding mitigation. The Ring claim argues the Arizona Supreme Court applied the wrong standard. It didn’t matter for this, or the other claims, because under AEDPA deference, the state supreme court’s finding of any error being “harmless” was reasonable. The 9th used the AEDPA/Chapman analysis (deference) rather than Brecht (actual finding of prejudice). Dissenting, Berzon argues that the state supreme court used a wrong legal standard for Ring prejudice; thus, Brecht was the proper standard. The petitioner had raised sufficient evidence of drug usage to allow a jury to find impairment.

This was a tough case. Jennifer Garcia, AFPD CHU, was valiant in her representation.

The decision is here:



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