Hinojosa v. Gibson, No. 13-56012 [September 25, 2015]
The Court held that California’s 2010 amendment of good time credits, by eliminating them for prison-gang members and associates in segregated housing, violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution when applied to a prisoner whose underlying criminal offense was committed prior to the amendment’s enactment. The Court found that because no state court decided his claim on the merits the AEDPA did not apply. Here, the state court decision denied his claim because it was filed “in the [im]proper venue. The court found that when “the last reasoned state-court decision rejects a federal claim solely on procedural grounds, any presumption that a subsequent summary denial decided the claim on the merits is rebutted.” Here, fortunately for Mr. Hinojosa, the state waived any state procedural ground as a defense by failing to raise such a claim.