Ayestas v. Stephens, No. 15-70015 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, convicted of murder and sentenced to death, appealed the denial of relief under 28 U.S.C. 2254, and the denial of investigative assistance under 18 U.S.C. 3599(f) to develop evidence that might prove his previous attorneys were ineffective. Petitioner then moved to amend his section 2254 application to raise a new clam, but the district court denied the motion and denied a certificate of appealability (COA). The court concluded that the district court correctly rejected the assertion that petitioner’s trial and state habeas attorneys were ineffective. Consequently, because petitioner cannot show that his claim is viable and that assistance was reasonably necessary, the district court properly determined that petitioner was not entitled to a mitigation specialist. For the same reasons, the court denied a COA. Because petitioner did not exercise reasonable diligence in attempting to discover the memorandum order at issue, he is unable to prove that he would be entitled to a subsequent state habeas hearing to exhaust his new claims that are based on the newly discovered memorandum. Hence, petitioner has not exhausted, and will not be able to exhaust, these claims in state court. Because the court is unable to review unexhausted claims, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying petitioner’s motion for a stay and abeyance. The court affirmed the judgment.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 10, 2016.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 13, 2016.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on July 31, 2019.
- Ayestas v. Davis, No. 16-6795 (U.S. Mar. 21, 2018)