Monday, February 22, 2010

Robinson v. Schiro (9th Cir. - Feb. 22, 2010)

It's a death penalty habeas case out of Arizona. The panel consists of Judges Betty Fletcher, Marsha Berzon, and Johnnie Rawlinson.

Three women and three Democratic appointees, I might add. Which reminds me that the twentieth anniversary of the first all-female Ninth Circuit panel is coming up next year -- a panel that Judge Fletcher was also on, even those many years ago (alongside Judge Dorothy Nelson and Judge Judy Keep, the latter sitting by designation).

So let's test your predictive powers. With a multiple choice test; one that's not too hard even with the limited information I've presented.

The result is a 2-1 opinion. The majority opinion:

(A) Affirms the conviction and death sentence.
(B) Affirms the conviction but reverses the death sentence.
(C) Reverses the conviction but affirms the death sentence.
(D) Reverses both the conviction and the death sentence.

Related bonus question: Which judge dissents?

(A) Judge Fletcher.
(B) Judge Berzon.
(C) Judge Rawlinson.

Check your answers. If you got 'em both correct, you've got a pretty good grip on the Ninth Circuit.

P.S. - There was another death penalty habeas opinion from the Ninth Circuit that was amended this morning -- Harrison v. Gillespie. That one had an all-male panel of Judges Hug, Reinhardt and Silverman. Same result as Robinson, and if you can't figure out the lineup in that one after looking at the answers to Robinson, deduct two letter grades from your score.