United States Ninth Circuit

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Cavitt v. Cullen, 10-16988

The district court properly denied defendant's habeas corpus petition challenging the California Supreme Court's construction and application of the felony murder rule in upholding his first degree murder conviction, where: 1) the California Supreme Court gave adequate guidance for how the logical nexus test should be applied, such that it did not clearly violate the Constitution's prohibition on vague and standardless statutory constructions; 2) the adoption of the logical nexus rule in petitioner's case was not impermissibly retroactive; 3) there was no error in the trial court's evidentiary rulings; and 4) because there is an obvious logical nexus between defendant's actions and the victim's death, any error resulting from the omission of the "logical nexus" phrasing from the jury instructions was harmless.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 08/29/2013
  • Published 08/29/2013




  • United States Ninth Circuit