Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal Page 16

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Media for Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 25, 1998 in Stewart v. Martinez-Villareal

John Paul Stevens:

Ms. Young, may I ask you another hypothetical about your definition of presentable and presented and so forth and so on?

Denise I. Young:

--Yes.

John Paul Stevens:

Suppose a person on death row who has never filed any habeas corpus petition files one that contains nothing but an exhausted Ford claim and the district court says, there's merit to the claim, quash this death warrant, postpone the execution, and they do that, and with no change in facts whatsoever the same man comes back... they issue a new death warrant 10 days later.

Could... and without any change in physical condition or mental condition.

Could the man come back without filing a successive habeas?

Denise I. Young:

Now, in the first... I'm sorry, I need to... in the first--

John Paul Stevens:

He won the first time.

Denise I. Young:

--He won it, can he come back in the second one?

John Paul Stevens:

Can he come back 30 days later if they try to execute him without any change in his condition?

Denise I. Young:

Oh, without any change in his condition?

John Paul Stevens:

Yes.

Denise I. Young:

And raise claims other than his competency?

John Paul Stevens:

No, raise the same claim.

Denise I. Young:

Well, I assume he could come back and try, but he certainly would have a huge burden to overcome, because... oh... oh, without any change.

John Paul Stevens:

Yes.

Denise I. Young:

I'm sorry.

I misunderstood you.

John Paul Stevens:

In other words, he would have won on--

Denise I. Young:

Yes.

John Paul Stevens:

--It's clear he would win on the merits.

Denise I. Young:

So they found him incompetent--

John Paul Stevens:

But he can't establish innocence.

He can't meet the... would that be a claim that was... that was presentable, too.

Denise I. Young:

--Yes, he could--

John Paul Stevens:

He presented it and he won.

Denise I. Young:

--He could come back, because again there would have been a new judgment, the execution warrant saying that now we're going to go execute you, and as we've been talking about, it's that piece of paper that would allow him to come back in and not be a second or successive--

William H. Rehnquist:

Well, I know, but--

--I agree with Justice Kennedy's point.

I... to say you're attacking the warrant rather than the judgment, it seems like something out of the 1800's, really.

Denise I. Young:

--It is something sort of out of the 1800's.