Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Habeas counsel & death row inmates

The question is asked, "How easy should it be for someone on death row, challenging his state court conviction or sentence in federal court, to get his court-appointed lawyer replaced by another one?"

California, supported by twenty-six states, including Ohio & Kentucky, contends that the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has made it much too easy. As the states frame the case, the question is whether the condemned prisoner is entitled to a replacement lawyer "just because he expresses dissatisfaction and alleges that his counsel was failing to pursue important evidence." (States' amicus brief )

The Supreme Court heard this case this morning.

ScotusBlog had this background preview posted last Wednesday.

Petition for certiorari
Brief in opposition

9th. Circuit’s opinion

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