Greenway v. Schriro

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-28-2011
  • Case #: 07-99021
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Schroeder for the Court; Circuit Judges Rawlinson and Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

Under AEDPA, a federal habeas petitioner must exhaust their claims in state court before petitioning a federal court by “fully and fairly presenting” the factual and legal basis for the claim to the state court. It is enough to satisfy the fair presentation requirement when the petitioner includes the operative facts and legal basis for the claim in an amended post-conviction relief petition.

In 1989, Greenway was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1988 murders of Lili Champagne and her daughter, Mindy Peters. Greenway filed a petition to replace his post-conviction counsel, which the trial court summarily denied. Greenway then filed motions to vacate the denial of the post-conviction petition and for leave to amend the petition, arguing that his former counsel had been ineffective. The state court denied the motions, claiming it lacked authority under Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.6(d) to allow an amended petition since the motion to amend was filed after the original petition was denied. In his petition for federal habeas relief under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Greenway alleged that his trial counsel was ineffective at sentencing because he failed to investigate and present mitigating evidence. The district court denied the petition for failure to exhaust on the grounds that the claim was never fully and fairly presented to the state court, since Greenway did not include the factual basis in the habeas petition in his original state post-conviction relief petition. The Ninth Circuit found that Greenway’s motion to amend his first post-conviction petition included the operative facts and legal basis, which included mitigating circumstances such as an abusive past, drug use, chaotic childhood, and learning disabilities. However, the Court concluded that Greenway failed to prove that “counsel’s performance was deficient and that the deficiency prejudiced the defense,” as required by Strickland v. Washington. AFFIRMED in part, VACATED and REMANDED in part.

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