United States Ninth Circuit

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Medina, Jr. v. Chappell, 09-99015

Petitioner is a California death row inmate who killed four people in a month-long crime spree in 1984. The California courts imposed two death sentences: one in Orange County, and one in Riverside County, each the subject of separate habeas petitions here. The district court's denial of his petitions challenging his murder convictions and two death sentences is affirmed, where: 1) trial counsel performed deficiently by failing to object, during cross-examination of a doctor during the sanity phase, to the prosecutor's use of a study to remind the jury that people are capable of faking schizophrenia and fooling mental health workers, but the failure to object was not prejudicial during the penalty phase, and trial counsel's performance was not deficient with respect to the doctor's testimony; and 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying a stay to determine petitioner' competency while the Orange County petition was pending.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/26/2015
  • Published 03/26/2015


  • Wardlaw


  • United States Ninth Circuit