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Clark v. Arnold

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 8, 2014

ERIC MICHAEL CLARK, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
JAMES ARNOLD; TERRY L. GODDARD; CHARLES L. RYAN, Respondents-Appellees

Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California January 13, 2014.

Page 712

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. D.C. No. 3:09-cv-08006-JAT. James A. Teilborg, Senior District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY: SUMMARY[**]

Habeas Corpus

The panel affirmed the district court's judgment denying Eric Michael Clark's 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition challenging a conviction of murdering a law enforcement officer in the line of duty.

Clark argued his trial counsel was ineffective under Strickland v. Washington for not preserving " observation evidence" that could negate the mens rea element of the crime and for failing to request a reevaluation of his competency during trial. He also argued that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise those issues on appeal.

In light of the " doubly deferential" standard afforded to Strickland claims brought under § 2254, the panel concluded that it was not contrary to, nor an unreasonable application of, Strickland for the state court to determine that Clark's trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to preserve explicitly the issue of observation evidence or by failing to request a reevaluation of Clark's competency. The panel held that Clark's claim of ineffective appellate counsel is procedurally defaulted.

Carla G. Ryan (argued), Law Office of Carla G. Ryan, Tucson, Arizona, for Petitioner-Appellant.

Michael T. O'Toole (argued), Assistant Attorney General; Thomas C. Horne, Attorney General; Kent E. Cattani, Division Chief Counsel; Joseph T. Maziarz, Section Chief Counsel, Phoenix, Arizona, for Respondents-Appellees.

Before: J. Clifford Wallace and Jay S. Bybee, Circuit Judges, and James C. Mahan, District Judge.[*] ...


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