Panetti v. Thaler, No. 08-70015 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Petitioner was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Petitioner argued that the district court violated the due process requirements of Ford v. Wainwright and Panetti v. Quarterman by refusing to provide constitutionally adequate funding for experts. The court concluded that petitioner's claim failed on the merits because Ford and Panetti merely established that petitioner was entitled to an opportunity to present his own expert testimony before a neutral decisionmaker. The fact that the court did not accede to all of petitioner's demands for additional funding could not be fairly characterized as an abuse of discretion. The court further concluded that the district court did not err in finding petitioner competent to be executed under the Eighth Amendment under Ford and Panetti, and that petitioner was not entitled to relief from his 1995 conviction under the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in Indiana v. Edwards because Edwards was not retroactively applicable on collateral review. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's denial of petitioner's second and third federal habeas petitions.