Rhines v. Young, No. 16-3360 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of habeas relief for petitioner, who received the death sentence after being convicted of murder and burglary. The court held that the district court did not err in concluding that petitioner was not entitled to relief on this Fifth Amendment self-incrimination claim under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA); the state courts did not unreasonably apply Strickland v. Washington in concluding that trial counsels' penalty phase efforts were not constitutionally deficient and the court need not address whether the state courts unreasonably concluded that there was no Strickland prejudice; the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying petitioner's motion to stay the habeas proceedings and file a second amended petition; the state court did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law applying the Ex Post Facto Clause by permitting the victim's mother to give impact evidence; the state court's decision to reject the claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because Simmons v. South Carolina, 512 U.S. 154 (1994), did not apply was not contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law; the jury found three valid aggravating circumstances that clearly encompassed the facts and circumstances supporting its additional depravity-of-mind finding; and the court denied the application to file a second or successive petition.