Ryan v. Schad

PETITIONER: Charles L. Ryan, Director, Arizona Dept. of Corrections
RESPONDENT: Edward Harold Schad
LOCATION: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

DOCKET NO.: 12-1084
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2010-2016)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 570 US (2013)
GRANTED: Jun 24, 2013
DECIDED: Jun 24, 2013

Facts of the case

In 1985, an Arizona jury convicted Edward Schad of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death for strangling 74-year-old Lorimer Grove. His sentence was affirmed on direct appeal, and Schad sought state habeas relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel, but the state courts denied his petition. Schad then sought federal habeas relief based on his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, which the district court denied. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit remanded the case to consider whether Schad’s state habeas counsel was properly diligent, at which point the state of Arizona petitioned for a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted the petition and remanded the case based on a recent decision holding that federal habeas review is limited to the record of the state habeas proceedings. The appellate court then affirmed the district court’s denial of relief.

Schad filed a motion for the appellate court to reconsider, which was denied, and the Supreme Court again denied certiorari. Schad then filed a motion requesting a stay of the mandate for the execution, which the appellate court denied. Then, instead of issuing the mandate, the appellate court construed the previous motion as another motion to reconsider, which it granted and remanded the case to the district court.

Question

Did the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit abuse its discretion by failing to issue the mandate for execution after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a writ of certiorari?

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