In its third California capital habeas corpus decision in less than a week, the Ninth Circuit refused to vacate a death sentence the California Supreme Court had affirmed for two murders committed in 1989.

The panel in Bolin v. Davis concluded that relief was not warranted under the federal Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which is highly deferential to state court decisions.  Under that standard, the petitioner’s two ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims were rejected.

The Supreme Court rejected the inmate’s automatic appeal of his death sentence in People v. Bolin (1998) 18 Cal.4th 297.  It also denied a state habeas petition seven years later.

The Ninth Circuit usually, but not always, refuses to overturn California Supreme Court death penalty decisions.


Ninth Circuit closes habeas door to one California condemned inmate, cracks it open for another

“From the bench, an ‘impotent silence’.”