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USCA9 Capital Cases

There were three capital cases from the Ninth Circuit on today's Supreme Court orders list.  The Notorious Ninth had upheld the death sentence in all three, and the Supreme Court denied certiorari in all three.  The Payton case from California was noted in the previous post.  There were also the cases of Robert Ybarra from Nevada and Edward Schad from Arizona.

Schad's case had been decided by the Supreme Court once already, on direct appeal back in 1991.  When the case reached the Ninth Circuit, his lawyers probably thought they had won the death penalty lottery.  With Judges Reinhardt and Schroeder on the panel, they were sure to get a penalty reversal.  Initially, they did indeed reverse, but the Supreme Court vacated the decision and sent it back for reconsideration in light of Cullen v. PinholsterOn remand, Schad did not even get a vote from Reinhardt.  Imagine that.

AEDPA is finally having its intended effect of reducing erroneous reversals by the Ninth.  It has not yet speeded the process, but that is coming.

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