Prystash v. Davis, No. 16-70014 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, sentenced to death for his involvement in a murder-for-hire, sought a certificate of appealability (COA) to challenge the district court's denial of his habeas petition. The court denied a COA as to the procedural default ruling because the grounds petitioner cited for cause were either not raised in the district court or sought an extension of Martinez/Trevino beyond the realm of ineffective assistance claims for which there was no supporting authority. The court also concluded that petitioner failed to met the COA standard for any of his claims relating to the failure to disclose the circumstances surrounding a codefendant's confession; claims relating to the denial of petitioner's right to present mitigating evidence; claims of error for the trial court to allow the prosecution to introduce evidence of past adjudicated offenses; and a claim that petitioner did not pull the trigger in the victim's murder. Accordingly, the court denied the application of COA.