Andrews v. Chappell, No. 09-99012 [August 5, 2015]
The court upheld the California Supreme Court’s denial of ineffective assistance during the penalty phase of Andrews state murder trial, reversing the district court, based on counsel's conducting a reasonable investigation under existing professional norms and Supreme Court precedent and there was no prejudice to Andrews in not presenting the additional mitigating evidence finding it was not an unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent. It also denied a claim that California’s lethal injection protocol violated the 8th Amendment based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Baze v. Rees as being unripe since California currently doesn’t have a protocol. On his other claims, the court first makes a determination that his claims, because they do no relate to his new penalty phase, require a COA and then denies a COA on each claim. Finally, the Court upholds the failure to grant an evidentiary hearing as not an abuse of discretion citing Pinholster's rule to limit the hearing to the state court record that adjudicated the claim on the merits.
UPDATE [August 1, 2017]: This opinion was withdrawn and a new opinion was issued with the same result.