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May 11, 2009

Lots of ink spilled about denial of en banc review in California capital case

Today the Ninth Circuit officially denied en banc review in a high-profile capital case from California, and some of the judge involved felt compelled to write over 100 pages of dense text about the decision.  All this discussion concerning the claims of defendant Kevin Cooper can be found at this link.  

The leading opinion dissenting from the the denial of en banc review starts with this significant first sentence: "The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man." 

Those who closely follow capital punishment in California know that this sentence cannot be quite right:  California has not been able to execute even an indisputably guilty man in over three years because of litigation over the state's lethal injection protocols.  Because of that on-going litigation, California is surely unlikely to "be about to execute" anyone for many more months (and perhaps even many years).

UPDATE:  I have now noticed that the Third and Fourth Circuits also both have rulings today in death penalty collateral appeals.  I wonder how often we get three capital habeas rulings from the federal circuits courts and none of them come from either the Fifth or Eleventh Circuits.

May 11, 2009 at 01:55 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on May 11, 2009 6:12:09 PM


Doug, surely you realize that the moonbats masquerading as impartial Article III judges who authored/joined the dissents were speaking in hyperbole.
The dissent is a joke. Cooper is as guilty as sin, and has, for too long, avoided justice. That Fogel's lousy opinion still controls California's lethal injection (despite the fact that Fogel's opinion is clearly inconsistent with Baze) is shameful, and this case shows that. Fogel should vacate his order and force the prisoners to apply for new stays.

Posted by: federalist | May 11, 2009 2:56:30 PM

I wonder why fereralist is a corporate lawyer rather than a prosecutor given his strong feelings about the criminal justice system.

Posted by: regular reader | May 11, 2009 3:28:55 PM

A person with strong feelings about the criminal justice system is not necessarily a good fit for a prosecutor's office.

Posted by: federalist | May 11, 2009 3:46:35 PM

federalist is not a lawyer.

Posted by: John | May 11, 2009 4:39:41 PM

Au contraire, John. Au contraire.

Posted by: federalist | May 11, 2009 5:08:05 PM

Federalist wrote: "Cooper is as guilty as sin."

I bet the house you've never read the trial transcript, let alone investigated the case. I know you're a conservative and all, and so I may ask too much, but can't you put the faith-based judgments on hold at least when a man's life is at stake?

Posted by: DK | May 11, 2009 10:25:20 PM

Regular: $80,000. $800,000. Come on, now.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 11, 2009 10:26:24 PM

DK, get a life. The evidence pointing to Cooper (DNA) is overwhelming. I guess you believe he just happened to be next door and the Ryens and a visitor just happened to be butchered. That you guys are willing to clown yourselves over vicious killers like that makes it obvious that you don't live in a reality based world.

Posted by: federalist | May 12, 2009 11:40:52 AM

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