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9th Circuit Court Approves 2nd Habeas Petition

Gregory Brown v. M. Atchley Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Docket: 20-16290, Opinion Date: August 3, 2023. Petitioner was convicted in California state court of one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of attempted murder on an aiding and abetting theory and sentenced to 56 years to life. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. The district court denied his first federal habeas petition on the merits and declined to grant a certificate of appealability (COA); this court also declined to grant a COA. The district court dismissed as second or successive Petitioner’s second federal habeas petition, and the Ninth Circuit court affirmed the dismissal. In consolidated appeals, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s judgments dismissing, as second or successive under 28 U.S.C. Section 2244(b), Petitioner’s third and fourth federal habeas corpus petitions, and remanded. The panel held that Petitioner’s due process, ineffective assistance of counsel, and equal protection claims did not become ripe until his application for resentencing was denied, which occurred well after the district court denied his first and dismissed his second habeas petitions. Because Petitioner could not have raised these claims in his first or second petition, his failure to do so is not an abuse of the writ. Applying Panetti v. Quarterman, 551 U.S. 930 (2007), the panel concluded that the third and fourth habeas petitions were, accordingly, not second or successive under Section 2244(b).

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