Schriro v. Landrigan - Oral Argument - January 09, 2007

Schriro v. Landrigan

Media for Schriro v. Landrigan

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 14, 2007 in Schriro v. Landrigan

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 09, 2007 in Schriro v. Landrigan

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

We'll hear argument--

next in 05-1575, Schriro versus Landrigan.

Mr. Cattani.

Kent E. Cattani:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The Ninth Circuit's rejection of a reasoned State court factual determination and decision is improper under any deferential standard of review, and it is particularly improper under the highly deferential standard of review required under the AEDPA.

This morning I'd like to try to develop three... three points.

First, the State court's factual finding that Landrigan instructed his attorney not to present any mitigating evidence was not an unreasonable finding and, in fact, is the most logical interpretation of the record.

Although Landrigan now argues that the record does not show whether his decision not to present mitigation evidence was knowing or voluntary, that is not a claim that was ever developed in State court.

He never alleged in his State post-conviction proceedings that that, his decision to do that was not knowing or voluntary.

Secondly, an evidentiary hearing is unwarranted in this case--

John Paul Stevens:

May I ask about the first one?

Does the Constitution require there be no involuntary?

Kent E. Cattani:

--It would require that it would be knowing and voluntary, yes.

John Paul Stevens:

So if the record showed that he didn't get, there wasn't a procedure followed to voluntarily waive those Constitutional rights, wouldn't the district court be able to reexamine that?

Kent E. Cattani:

Well, there's no colloquy requirement for a defendant to waive presentation of mitigation.

And I think it would have been enough if the defendant or defense counsel had simply said my... if the attorney had said my client has instructed me not to present any mitigating evidence, and that would be adequate.

If a defendant chooses to make a claim that his waiver was not knowing or voluntary, the burden would shift to him to do that in a post-conviction proceeding, and he did not do that in this case.

Antonin Scalia:

How would he make such a claim in this case where in open court he was asked by the judge, right, with nobody twisting his arm, whether it was the case that he did not want any mitigating evidence introduced?

And he said, right, yes, that's correct?

Kent E. Cattani:

I agree, Your Honor.

It would be very difficult for him to make that argument and I suspect that's why the argument was not raised in the State post-conviction proceeding.

Anthony M. Kennedy:

Well, I don't know if you got to the third point you were going to make.

You were outlining three different points.

But it seems to me that from the very start, what happens is that you and your brother for the respondent are talking past each other.

You want to talk to us about the adequacy of the State court's finding.

The respondent says what we... all we want is a hearing in the district court, and those are two different issues.

We want a hearing in the district court, i.e., so that we can show the findings are insubstantial or incorrect.

Those, it seems to me, are two different issues, and I sense the briefs are talking past each other on this point.

Did you see the same thing?

Kent E. Cattani:

Yes, I did, Your Honor, and I think the reason for that is, in our view an evidentiary hearing is not necessary because the factual finding by the State court obviates the need for one.