Issue: (1) Whether, under Martinez v. Ryan, ineffective assistance of counsel in an initial-review collateral proceeding may provide cause to excuse the procedural default of a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel raised in a federal habeas proceeding, and whether reasonable jurists could debate whether a death-sentenced prisoner confined pursuant to a Louisiana judgment may assert ineffective assistance of state post-conviction counsel as cause to excuse procedural defaults of claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred in denying a certificate of appealability to petitioner in order to determine whether his claims were reviewable under Martinez v. Ryan, where its holding here “that Martinez does not apply to Louisiana prisoners at all” squarely contradicts the Fifth Circuit’s own earlier decision in Lindsey v. Cain?; and (3) whether, when petitioner was scheduled to be executed in six days, and the district court had transferred petitioner’s case to the Fifth Circuit for lack of jurisdiction, the Fifth Circuit erred in dismissing petitioner’s application for a certificate of appealability (“COA”) due to the district court’s lack of prior consideration of the COA?
On Monday at 9:30 a.m. we expect orders from the October 17 Conference. We do not expect any decisions on the merits but will report promptly on any orders. The Court's next Conference is scheduled for October 31. The November sitting begins November 3.