Rogovich v. Ryan

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 09-18-2012
  • Case #: 08-99015
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Schroeder for the Court; Circuit Judges O'Scannlain and Graber
  • Full Text Opinion

“No clearly established federal law requir[es] the defendant to consent on the record to an insanity defense.”

Pete Carl Rogovich appealed the district court’s denial of habeas relief from a 1994 conviction. Rogovich received the death penalty for killing four people during a shooting spree. Rogovich argued that the state trial court should not have permitted his counsel to present the defense of insanity, because Rogovich did not consent to its use on the record. The Arizona Supreme Court denied this claim, and the Ninth Circuit agreed, reasoning that it is not necessary for a defendant to voice an affirmation of consent to an insanity defense. Rogovich was present at all the critical moments during trial when his counsel explained his defense and Rogovich did not object to the insanity characterization. This conduct constituted an implicit, on the record acknowledgement of the plea. Rogovich also claimed that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial counsel failed to challenge an aggravating factor and failed to object to the prosecutor’s closing argument. The Court rejected the ineffective-assistance claim, concluding that Rogovich’s counsel was not ineffective for failing to challenge the aggravating factor and that no prosecutorial misconduct occurred during closing arguments. AFFIRMED.

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