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Cal Supreme Reverses Denial of Habeas Corpus

In re Friend Docket: S256914, Opinion Date: June 28, 2021. The Supreme Court reversed the order of the court of appeal denying a certificate of appealability in this case, holding that under the law as amended by Proposition 66 the requirement that habeas corpus petitioners must make a showing of actual innocence or death ineligibility if they seek a second chance to make an argument, they could have made earlier does not apply to the habeas petition who raises a newly available claim at the first opportunity. Petitioner was convicted of a robbery murder and sentenced to death. In 2015, the Supreme Court denied Petitioner's habeas corpus petition. Petitioner then filed a federal habeas petition in the federal district court, which stayed proceedings to allow Petitioner to exhaust six claims in state court. Thereafter, Proposition 66 came into force. In 2018, Petitioner filed a second state habeas petition raising the six unexhausted claims. The state court dismissed Petitioner's recently filed habeas petition as successive. The court of appeals denied Petitioner's request for a certificate of appealability. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Proposition 66 should be read to provide a means for appealing the superior court's determination that a subsequent petition is successive.

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