Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardesich v. Cate (9th Cir. - Feb. 21, 2012)

There are occasional hassles that attend the resolution of an with an 08- caption (which means it was filed in 2008) in 2012.  The first footnote of this opinion demonstrates one of them.  Each of the five defendants is no longer the proper party, so needs to be substituted out on appeal.

Rod Hickman's no longer the Secretary of the Department of Corrections.  So he's replaced by Matthew Cate.  Joe McGrath's the old Deputy.  Scott Kernan's the new one.  John Dovey was the Director, but he's out, and Terri McDonald's in.  Deborah Johnson is now the Warden at the central woman's prison, so she's the new defendant, replacing the old Deborah -- but with a different spelling -- Debra Jacquez.  Elections also happen.  Bill Lockyer has moved on as Attorney General.  Kamala Harris takes his place.  Both at the helm and as a defendant.

So it's a whole new cast of characters.  Except for the petitioner, Destinni Mardesich.  Who's destined -- yeah, I know -- to spend the next 26 years to life for helping to kill her baby daddy when she was 16 because she thought he try to get custody of his son.  A destiny that the Ninth Circuit refuses to change, as it affirms the district court's dismissal of her habeas petition.

It's somewhat ironic that it takes the Ninth Circuit until 2012 to resolve Dentinni's 2008 appeal given that the basis for this dismissal is that her petition is time-barred because it's eighteen months late.  But at least Judge Ikuta issued the opinion relatively quickly after oral argument -- around 70 days.  That way the thing doesn't continue until 2013.

But all this talk is of little import to Destinni.  Who's got nothing but time at this point.