Monday, May 17, 2021

Sansing v. Ryan (9th Cir. - May 17, 2021)

Okay, I get it (I guess):  You love the crack cocaine.  You and your spouse have been on a binge for the past four days.  You're looking to continue the streak.  Maybe -- after four days, anyway -- you're also a little bit hungry.  Or, at a minimum, your four children are (!).

So you call a local church and ask them to deliver a box of free food.  That's a fine decision.

The suboptimal choice, by contrast, is your contemporaneous decision to rob whomever the church sends to deliver the food.  Ditto for your ultimate decisions to rape and kill her in your home, and then to "hide" the body in a shed in your backyard under a piece of old carpeting.

That stuff gets you sentenced to death.  Although Judge Berzon dissents, Judges Watford and Callahan are okay with the conviction and sentence, so that's pretty much it for your federal habeas petition (barring en banc review or the Supreme Court favorably stepping in).

If you were in California, you could probably not worry about actually being executed.  But Arizona's likely to restart executions in a little bit (after a seven-year hiatus).  So there's a real chance that you'll actually get a date with the needle.

Don't do crack cocaine.  Don't kill people.  Two important reminders for those otherwise inclined.