Daire v. Lattimore

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 03-15-2016
  • Case #: 12-55667
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Benavides for the Court; Circuit Judge Wardlaw and Clifton
  • Full Text Opinion

For a claim to meet the standard review of the the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act it must show that a ruling was so lacking in justification that there was an error beyond any possibility for fair-minded disagreement.

Sophia Daire was charged with first degree burglary under the California Code. Daire was convicted and during sentencing admitted that she had three prior burglary convictions under California’s three strikes recidivism sentence enhancements. After various appeals to have two of the strikes removed, Daire filed habeas corpus. The California Superior and Supreme Court ruled that the sentencing was unaffected by the omission of any evidence regarding Daire’s mental health in two of her prior strikes. The district court found that the state court had unreasonably adjudicated effective assistance and failed to consider whether presentation of mental health would have made a difference in sentencing. The panel found that Daire could not prevail under the the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). The panel reasoned that the AEDPA falls just short of imposing a total bar on relitigation of claims already rejected in state proceedings. Further, Daire could not show that her claim presented to the federal court was “so lacking in justification that there was an error beyond any possibility for fair-minded disagreement.” The panel further found that Daire’s assistance of counsel was adequate despite not looking further into her personal history and the decision not to bring a mental health defense was trial strategy. AFFIRMED.

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