Phillips v. Chappell

Petition for certiorari denied on April 29, 2013
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
12-5890 9th Cir. N/A N/A N/A N/A OT 2012

Issue: (1) In Strickland v. Washington, this Court held there exists a Sixth Amendment constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel at all stages of criminal trials, including the obligation to investigate before selecting a defense. In Cullen v. Pinholster, this Court reiterated Strickland controls for trial counsel’s obligation to investigate all phase of a capital case. Did the Ninth Circuit err in creating a new law of the Circuit that held, pursuant to the Ninth’s reading of Pinholster, trial counsel has no constitutional duty to conduct any investigation into police reports, ballistics, and crime scene photos before selecting a defense? (2)This Court has established a clear “law of the case doctrine.” In 2001 the Ninth Circuit held Phillips’s right to effective assistance of counsel, within the meaning of Strickland, had been violated because counsel conducted no investigation before selecting a defense. In its latest decision the Ninth Circuit found it was “compelled” to overturn the 2001 decision in light of this Court’s ruling in Pinholster that the Sixth Amendment does no impose a “constitutional duty to investigate” in capital cases. Was it a violation of Phillips’s constitutionally protected right to Due Process under the Fourteenth Amendment when the Ninth Circuit declined to follow this Court’s law of the case doctrine?

DateProceedings and Orders
Aug 16 2012Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due September 20, 2012)
Sep 20 2012Brief of respondent Kevin Chappell, Acting Warden in opposition filed.
Oct 4 2012DISTRIBUTED for Conference of October 26, 2012.
Oct 10 2012Reply of petitioner Richard Louis Arnold Phillips filed. (Distributed)
Nov 13 2012Amended Reply of petitioner Richard Louis Arnold Phillips filed. (Distributed)
Feb 6 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of February 22, 2013.
Feb 20 2013Record Requested .
Feb 21 2013Record received from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (three sealed documents sent electronically).
Feb 26 2013Record received from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (one envelope). The remainder of the Ninth Circuit record is filed electronically.
Feb 27 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of March 15, 2013.
Mar 13 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of March 29, 2013.
Apr 1 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 12, 2013.
Apr 15 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 19, 2013.
Apr 22 2013DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 26, 2013.
Apr 29 2013Petition DENIED.
 
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