- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
- Date Filed: 03-17-2014
- Case #: 08-99008
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bybee for the Court; Circuit Judges Rawlinson and Ikuta
- Full Text Opinion
Robert Murray was convicted of two-counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The defendant brought a habeas corpus suit after the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. The defendant first argued that the state court improperly denied his Batson objection. In Batson, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a peremptory challenge in jury selection made on the basis of race is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The panel affirmed the lower court’s denial, holding that the courts failure to undertake a comparative juror analysis was not “contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, or an unreasonable determination of the facts” for the purposes of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”) The defendant next argued that his state court assigned attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel based on the same AEDPA standard. The panel rejected his claim, holding that his attorney “pursued diligently a number of avenues for obtaining background evidence relevant to the mitigating factors that could assist in Murray’s sentencing hearing.” Lastly, the defendant argued that the lower court abused its discretion by denying his “Motion to File a Second Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.” The panel also denied this claim, affirming the lower court’s decision that the claims in the amended habeas claim were “duplicative, frivolous, and futile,” and the granting of the motion would lead to an undue delay in the proceedings and prejudice the respondents. AFFIRMED.