throbber
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` Cite as: 574 U. S. ____ (2014)
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`Statement of SOTOMAYOR, J.
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
` STEPHEN MORELAND REDD v.
`
`
`
`KEVIN CHAPPELL, WARDEN
`
`
`ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED
`
`
`STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
`
`
` No. 14–6264. Decided December 1, 2014
`
`The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.
`
` Statement of JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, with whom JUSTICE
`
`
`
`BREYER joins, respecting the denial of certiorari.
`Seventeen years after petitioner was first sentenced to
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`death, and more than four years after his conviction and
`sentence were affirmed on direct appeal, petitioner has not
`
`received counsel to represent him in his state habeas
`corpus proceedings—counsel to which he is entitled as a
`matter of state law. See Cal. Govt. Code Ann. §68662
`(West 2009). He has suffered this delay notwithstanding
`the California Supreme Court’s observation that “[i]deally,
`
`the appointment of habeas corpus counsel should occur
`shortly after an indigent defendant’s judgment of death,”
`In re Morgan, 50 Cal. 4th 932, 937, 237 P. 3d 993, 996
`(2010), and our own general exhortation that “[f]inality is
`essential to both the retributive and the deterrent func-
`tions of criminal law,” Calderon v. Thompson, 523 U. S.
`
`
`538, 555 (1998). At the same time, the California Su-
`preme Court refuses to consider capital inmates’ pro se
`submissions relating to matters for which they have a
`continuing right to representation. See In re Barnett, 31
`
`Cal. 4th 466, 476–477, 73 P. 3d 1106, 1113–1114 (2003).
`Petitioner therefore remains in limbo: To raise any claims
`challenging his conviction and sentence in state habeas
`proceedings, he must either waive his right to counsel or
`continue to wait for counsel to be finally appointed.
`
`Although these circumstances are undoubtedly trou-
`bling, I vote to deny the petition for certiorari because it is
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
`
` REDD v. CHAPPELL
`
`Statement of SOTOMAYOR, J.
`
`
` not clear that petitioner has been denied all access to the
`
`courts.
`In fact, a number of alternative avenues may
`remain open to him. He may, for example, seek appoint-
`ment of counsel for his federal habeas proceedings. See 18
`U. S. C. §3599(a)(2). And he may argue that he should not
`
`be required to exhaust any claims that he might otherwise
`bring in state habeas proceedings, as “circumstances exist
`that render [the state corrective] process ineffective to
`protect” his rights. 28 U. S. C. §2254(b)(1)(B)(ii). More-
`over, petitioner might seek to bring a 42 U. S. C. §1983
`suit contending that the State’s failure to provide him
`with the counsel to which he is entitled violates the Due
`Process Clause. Our denial of certiorari reflects in no way
`on the merits of these possible arguments. Finally, I also
`note that the State represents that state habeas counsel
`will be appointed for petitioner “[i]n due course”—by
`which I hope it means, soon. See Brief in Opposition 6.
`
`
`
`
`2

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