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Federal Court Reverses Denial of Stay & Abeyance

Bolin v. Baker Docket: 15-99004, Opinion Date: April 26, 2021. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of a stay and abeyance pending exhaustion of unexhausted claims under Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269 (2005). In this case, petitioner filed a 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition challenging the constitutionality of his conviction and capital sentence. The district court concluded that petitioner lacked good cause under Rhines for his failure to exhaust because his state postconviction counsel's ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC) was not sufficiently egregious. However, the panel subsequently held in Blake v. Baker, 745 F.3d 977 (9th Cir. 2014), that IAC by a petitioner's state-court counsel satisfies the good cause standard under Rhines. Therefore, the district court erred in applying the standard the panel later rejected in Blake and the panel remanded for the district court to apply the proper standard.

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