Clark v. Chappell, No. 14-99005 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Petitioner appealed the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. 2254 habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction and capital sentence for first degree murder and rape of a fifteen year old girl. The Ninth Circuit applied the habeas standards in effect prior to the implementation of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; petitioner's numerous ineffective assistance of counsel claims, governed by Strickland v. Washington, were unavailing because he did not show that trial counsel's performance fell below an objective reasonableness standard at the time of the trial in 1987; petitioner failed to show prejudice in the few instances where counsel's performance was deficient; and petitioner's conflict of interest claim under Mickens v. Taylor, 535 U.S. 162, 171 (2002), were unpersuasive.
However, the panel held that the issue of juror misconduct must be remanded to the district court in light of the panel's recent decision in Godoy v. Spearman, 861 F.3d 956 (9th Cir. 2017) (en banc). The panel otherwise denied habeas relief and affirmed the district court's denial of evidentiary hearings for all claims.