Mickey v. Vasquez, et al, No. 5:1993cv00243 - Document 237 (N.D. Cal. 2018)

Court Description: ORDER granting 230 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Signed by Judge Edward J. Davila on 8/2/2018. (ejdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/2/2018)
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Mickey v. Vasquez, et al Doc. 237 1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 DOUGLAS SCOTT MICKEY, Case No. 93-00243 Petitioner, 8 v. ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO APPOINT ADDITIONAL COUNSEL 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 RON DAVIS, Warden of San Quentin State Prison Re: Dkt. No. 230 Respondent. 12 13 14 INTRODUCTION On June 15, 2018, petitioner filed a motion to appoint additional counsel. Petitioner 15 requests that the Arizona Federal Public Defender (“FPD”) be appointed to prepare a clemency 16 petition on his behalf. On July 3, 2018, respondent filed an opposition. On July 8, 2018, 17 petitioner filed a reply. For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS petitioner’s motion. 18 19 BACKGROUND Petitioner was convicted and sentenced to death in San Mateo County Superior Court in 20 1983. The California Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence on direct appeal in 21 1991. People v. Mickey, 54 Cal. 3d 612 (1991). Petitioner’s petition for writ of certiorari was 22 denied by the United States Supreme Court. Mickey v. California, 506 U.S. 819 (1992). 23 Petitioner filed a federal habeas petition on December 1, 1995. On November 17, 2006, 24 his petition was denied as to his guilt phase claims, but relief was granted in relation to a penalty 25 phase claim. (ECF Dkt. No. 207). The Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of guilt phase claims but 26 reversed the grant of relief on petitioner’s penalty phase claim. Mickey v. Ayers, 606 F.3d 1223 27 (9th Cir. 2010). Petitioner’s petition for a writ of certiorari was denied by the United States 28 Supreme Court on October 11, 2011. Mickey v. Ayers, 565 U.S. 952 (2011). The Ninth Circuit Dockets.Justia.com 1 issued its mandate on October 13, 2011. (ECF Dkt. No. 222). PARTIES’ CONTENTIONS 2 3 Petitioner, through his counsel Frank McCabe and Neoma Kenwood, requests that the Capital Habeas Unit of the Arizona FPD be appointed to help prepare his application for 5 clemency. Mr. McCabe and Ms. Kenwood were appointed in 1994 to represent petitioner in his 6 federal habeas proceedings. Mr. McCabe, now 74 years old, is currently a sole practitioner 7 working from his home office. He is winding down his practice and plans to retire. Ms. Kenwood 8 currently works 80% time at the California Appellate Project and devotes 20% of her time to 9 private practice. Given that Mr. McCabe and Ms. Kenwood are sole practitioners with no prior 10 clemency-related experience, they seek the assistance of the Arizona FPD for the preparation of 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 4 petitioner’s clemency petition. The Arizona FPD has a capital habeas unit with a full-time staff of 12 experienced capital litigators, investigators and paralegals, including staff with clemency 13 experience. In support of his request, petitioner cites Harbison v. Bell, 556 U.S. 180 (2009), 14 which holds that 18 U.S.C. § 3599 authorizes federally appointed counsel to represent prisoners in 15 state clemency proceedings. 16 Respondent opposes petitioner’s request. He asserts that Harbison applies only to 17 situations where a petitioner is unable to obtain state-furnished representation. (ECF Doc. No. 235 18 at 2-3). Respondent contends that since California provides counsel for clemency proceedings, 19 petitioner should direct his request for additional counsel to the California Supreme Court. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 DISCUSSION Title 18 U.S.C. § 3599 provides for the appointment of counsel in federal capital trial and post-conviction proceedings, including clemency proceedings. Section 3599(a)(2) states: In any post conviction proceeding under section 2254 or 2255 of title 28, United States Code, seeking to vacate or set aside a death sentence, any defendant who is or becomes financially unable to obtain adequate representation or investigative, expert, or other reasonably necessary services shall be entitled to the appointment of one or more attorneys and the furnishing of such other services in accordance with subsections (b) through (f). Section 3599(e) provides that each appointed attorney shall: [R]epresent the defendant throughout every subsequent stage of 2 4 available judicial proceedings, including pretrial proceedings, trial, sentencing, motions for new trial, appeals, applications for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, and all available post-conviction process, together with applications for stays of execution and other appropriate motions and procedures, and shall also represent the defendant in such competency proceedings and proceedings for executive or other clemency as may be available to the defendant. (Emphasis added). 5 In Harbison, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether 6 “§ 3599(e)’s reference to ‘proceedings for executive or other clemency as may be available to the 7 defendant’ encompasses state clemency proceedings.” 566 U.S. at 183. The United States 8 Supreme Court concluded that it does, reasoning that under a straightforward reading of the 9 statute, counsel who had been appointed to represent Mr. Harbison in federal corpus proceedings 1 2 3 were obliged by virtue of that appointment to represent him in his state executive clemency 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 proceedings. Id. at 185-186. The United States Supreme Court explained: 12 13 14 15 16 [O]nce federally funded counsel is appointed to represent a state prisoner in § 2254 proceedings, she “shall also represent the defendant in such ... proceedings for executive or other clemency as may be available to the defendant.” § 3599(e). Because state clemency proceedings are “available” to state petitioners who obtain representation pursuant to subsection (a)(2), the statutory language indicates that appointed counsel's authorized representation includes such proceedings. Id. The United Stated States Supreme Court arrived at this conclusion after noting, in its 17 statement of the case, that but for § 3599, Mr. Harbison would have been entirely without 18 clemency counsel because Tennessee law did not authorize the appointment of state public 19 defenders as clemency counsel. Id. at 182. This fact, however, did not play a role in the Supreme 20 Court’s analysis of the scope of the clemency clause in § 3599(e). 21 Respondent argues that under Harbison, § 3599(e) provides for the appointment of counsel 22 only when a petitioner is unable to obtain adequate state representation. In support of this 23 argument, he cites a portion of Harbison discussing the government’s argument that reading 24 § 3599(e) to authorize federally funded counsel for state clemency proceedings would require 25 federally appointed counsel to represent a petitioner in all additional state court proceedings, 26 including any federally mandated state retrial. Addressing this argument, the United States 27 Supreme Court stated: 28 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 We do not read subsection (e) to apply to state-court proceedings that follow the issuance of a federal writ of habeas corpus. When a retrial occurs after postconviction relief, it is not properly understood as a “subsequent stage” of judicial proceedings but rather as the commencement of new judicial proceedings. Moreover, subsection (a)(2) provides for counsel only when a state petitioner is unable to obtain adequate representation. States are constitutionally required to provide trial counsel for indigent defendants. Thus, when a state prisoner is granted a new trial following § 2254 proceedings, his state-furnished representation renders him ineligible for § 3599 counsel until the commencement of new § 2254 proceedings. Id. at 189 (emphasis added). 7 Respondent argues that the United States Supreme Court’s statement that “subsection 8 (a)(2) provides for counsel only when a petitioner is unable to obtain adequate representation” 9 restricts Harbison’s holding to situations where states have no process for the appointment of 10 clemency counsel. Respondent argues that because the California Supreme Court provides 11 United States District Court Northern District of California representation for clemency proceedings, see Supreme Court Policies Regarding Cases Arising 12 From Judgments Of Death, www.courts.ca.gov/documents/policiesmar2012.pdf, Harbison does 13 not allow for the appointment of counsel in petitioner’s case. See also Irick v. Bell, 636 F.3d 289 14 (6th Cir. 2011) (because state law provided prisoner with adequate counsel, prisoner was not 15 entitled to representation under 18 U.S. § 3599); Samoya v. Davis, No. 00cv2118-W, (S.D. Cal. 16 May 21, 2018) (denying appointment of Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona as 17 counsel for state clemency proceedings). 18 Petitioner disagrees with respondent’s statutory interpretation and argues that numerous 19 cases address the clemency clause of § 3599(e) without any discussion of the availability of 20 clemency counsel funded by the state. See, e.g. Wilkins v. Davis, 832 F.3d 547 (5th Cir. 2016); 21 Battaglia v. Stephens, 824 F.3d 470, 473-74 (5th Cir. 2016). Petitioner asserts that in California, 22 several district courts have appointed federal counsel to represent death-sentenced defendants in 23 state clemency proceedings without conditioning such appointment on the unavailability of state24 funded counsel. See Raley v. Davis, No. 10-cv-04304 (N.D. Cal. May 9, 2018) (appointing 25 Arizona FPD as co-counsel for state clemency proceedings); Boyer v. Davis, No. 06-cv-07584 26 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 28, 2017) (same). He asserts that the Arizona FPD has also been appointed under 27 § 3599(e) to represent death-sentenced defendants in state clemency proceedings in Ohio and 28 4 1 Oklahoma. (ECF Doc. No. 236 at 6). Petitioner further asserts that even the guidelines for 2 administering the Criminal Justice Act, as set forth in the United States Judicial Conference’s 3 Guide To Judiciary Policy, contemplate that the appointment of clemency counsel under § 3599(e) 4 be “self-executing” rather than conditioned on the availability of clemency counsel funded by the 5 state. (ECF Doc. No. 236 at 5-6). 6 Even under the narrow reading of Harbison advanced by respondent, the appointment of the Arizona FPD as co-counsel is warranted because it appears that otherwise, 8 petitioner will be unable to obtain “adequate representation”. See Harbison, 556 U.S. at 189. 9 Petitioner’s federally appointed counsel, Ms. Kenwood and Mr. McCabe, were appointed by the 10 California Supreme Court to represent petitioner in all “appropriate post appeal representation”. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 7 (ECF Doc. No. 236 at 21). They aver, however, that they are not in a position to provide adequate 12 representation with respect to clemency. As previously noted, Mr. McCabe, who was first 13 appointed to represent petitioner in 1994, is winding down his business and intends to retire. Ms. 14 Kenwood works 80% time at the California Appellate Project. Neither has any clemency-related 15 experience. The Arizona FPD, however, has the necessary staff and resources to assist with 16 clemency. Furthermore, while the California Supreme Court’s payment guidelines provide for a 17 benchmark of only 40-80 hours for state clemency representation, see ECF Doc. No. 236 at 8, the 18 Arizona FPD is prepared to shoulder all of petitioner’s clemency-related costs. Finally, contrary 19 to respondent’s assertion, the appointment of the Arizona FPD, an out-of-state entity, is one that 20 the state court might not be able to make. See Supreme Court Policies Regarding Cases Arising 21 From Judgments Of Death at 5, www.courts.ca.gov/documents/policiesmar2012.pdf; Cal. Rules of 22 Court 8.605. 23 As recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Harbison, clemency “is the historic 24 remedy for preventing miscarriages of justice where judicial process has been exhausted . . . we 25 have called it ‘the fail safe’ in our criminal justice system.” 556 U.S. 192. In light of the 26 circumstances above, appointing the Arizona FPD as co-counsel will allow petitioner to receive 27 adequate representation during a critical stage of his proceedings. 28 5 CONCLUSION 1 2 For the above-mentioned reasons, petitioner is entitled to the appointment of the Arizona 3 FPD as co-counsel with Ms. Kenwood and Mr. McCabe. Accordingly, petitioner’s motion is 4 GRANTED. 5 6 7 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 2, 2018 ______________________________________ EDWARD J. DAVILA United States District Judge 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7