The 9th Circuit ruling in Detrich v. Ryan is available in Adobe .pdf format.
"Appeals court orders review in 1989 death penalty case," is by Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, via the Arizona Daily Star.
Convicted murderer David Detrich will get yet another chance to escape being put to death.
The full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday directed a lower court to review Detrich’s claims that his counsel did not do a proper job in the sentencing phase of his trial. The majority concluded he never got a chance to adequately raise those issues in earlier post-conviction appeals.
Tuesday’s ruling does not automatically mean Detrich will get another chance to present evidence to a jury, which makes decisions about life or death in Arizona criminal cases. His new attorneys still have to make their case to the lower federal court.
Judge William Fletcher, writing Tuesday’s majority ruling, noted that only nine of the jurors concluded the murder was premeditated. The other three said Detrich was guilty of felony murder, meaning he was part of a death that occurred during commission of another crime.
The Tucson Sentinel reports, "Court orders hearing on death-penalty sentence for Tucson killing," by Jack Fitzpatrick of Cronkite News Service.
A divided federal appeals court Tuesday ordered a new hearing for Arizona death-row inmate David Scott Detrich in the 1989 kidnapping and stabbing death of a Tucson woman.
After three trials, Detrich was convicted in 1997 of kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of Elizabeth Souter, and sentenced by a judge to be executed.
Detrich’s arguments that his trial attorney was ineffective had previously been rejected by courts as being raised too late, after his post-conviction relief proceeding.
But the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that he deserves to have those challenges heard because of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that changed the law after his earlier appeals were rejected.
The 11-judge court was split on the decision, however, with three judges on the opinion in which three others concurred. Five judges sharply disagreed in a dissent.
He is allowed to raise the issue now, even though it had been barred before, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Martinez v. Ryan. It said such claims can be raised if a defendant can show “substantial” ineffectiveness of his attorney that may have prejudiced the ultimate decision in his case.
The sharply divided appeals court sent Detrich’s case back to the district court to determine whether the ineffective attorney claim should be considered.
Also from Arizona, "Execution for Arizona inmate scheduled for Oct. 9," is by Michael Kiefer for the Arizona Republic.
The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday set an execution date for death-row prisoner Edward Schad, who killed a Bisbee man in 1978.
It was second execution warrant issued by the court in as many weeks.
Schad, 71, will be put to death on Oct. 9.
Last week the state’s high court set an execution date of Oct. 23 for Robert Jones, 43, who was sentenced to death six times for six murders during two robberies in Tucson in 1996. Jones is also serving a life sentence for another murder that took place during a home invasion in Phoenix that same year.
Schad came within a week of being executed in March, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed his execution to consider whether Schad's rights to effective representation of legal counsel had been met, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the stay. By June, however, the 9th Circuit and the nation’s top court had resolved the question, clearing the way for Schad’s execution.
Schad was sentenced to death in 1985 for the murder of Lorimer Grove, 74.
Earlier coverage from Arizona begins at the link.