Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

McDaniels v. Kirkland, No. 09-17339 [December 24, 2015]

McDaniels v. Kirkland

The Court held that where evidence was presented to the state trial court but not to any state appellate court federal courts may consider the entire state-court record, including evidence presented only to the trial court. [The state waived any procedural default by failing to raise it below.] The Petitioners appealed their murder convictions in the California Court of Appeals on Batson grounds but failed to place “the entire record of voir dire before the California Court of Appeal, nor did they ask that court to perform a comprehensive comparative juror analysis.” [The court notes that the failure to augment the record may constitute a flaw in the fact-finding process that would make the decision based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.] The en banc Court remanded to the original three judge panel to “evaluate whether, in light of the whole state-court record, the California Court of Appeal’s rejection of Petitioners’ challenges to the strikes was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts.

On Remand at McDaniels v. Kirkland :

On remand from the en banc court the panel reconsidered petitioners’ contentions that the California Court of Appeal’s adjudication of their Batson claims was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts, after the en banc court “clarified that in assessing Petitioners’ claims, we are to ‘consider the entire state-court record, not merely those materials that were presented to the state appellate courts.’” The panel, finding the en banc decision "novel," after considering the entire state-court record again finds it was not based on an unreasonable determination of the facts and denied the petitioners’ habeas relief.

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