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9th Circuit reverses death sentence for ineffective assistance in penalty phase on Habeas petition

Wednesday, December 18, 2019   (0 Comments)
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9th Circuit reverses death sentence for ineffective assistance in penalty phase on Habeas petition by CACJ member Michael Burt. “This case presents the type of "extreme malfunction" in the operation of a state's criminal justice system that justifies the intervention of a federal habeas court.”  Andrews v. Davis No. 09-99012 (9th Cir. Dec. 16, 2019)

In short, Andrews's counsel did nothing to counterbalance the prosecutor's view of their client or to portray Andrews as a human being, albeit one who had committed violent crimes. In fact, Andrews's counsel introduced almost no evidence in mitigation at the penalty phase. Despite this record of deficient representation, the California Supreme Court concluded that, under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), Andrews received constitutionally adequate representation at the penalty phase. That decision is fundamentally and objectively unreasonable.” (Slip opn. At 4-5)

Link to the opinion


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