Garcia v. Long, No. 13-57071 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Petitioner was convicted of one count of forcible rape of a minor and eight counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. The court affirmed the district court's grant of petitioner's writ of habeas corpus where an interrogating officer read him his Miranda rights and confirmed that petitioner understood those rights. The officer then asked if petitioner wanted to talk to him and petitioner answered, "no." The court held that 28 U.S.C. 2254(d) does not bar habeas review of petitioner’s Miranda claim, and the court concluded, on de novo review, that petitioner’s constitutional rights were violated when his interrogation tape was played and his apology letter was read at trial. In this case, the state court's decision that the "no" response was ambiguous and equivocal in light of other statements is both contrary to and an unreasonable application of clearly established Supreme Court law, and it is based on an unreasonable determination of the facts. The court further concluded that the error was not harmless. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of the writ of habeas corpus.