Williams v. Johnson

Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice in Support of Petitioner-Appellant.

Brief filed: 08/22/2016


Williams v. Johnson

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 07-56127

Prior Decision

On remand from the Supreme Court of the United States, 134 S.Ct. 2659 (July 1, 2014), 9th Circuit Panel Decision, 824 F. 3d 814 (9th Cir. May 27, 2016).


California law allowing holdout jurors to be dismissed affects matters of exceptional importance, and this court should grant en banc review to ensure that the law was not misapplied. Holdout jurors play an essential role in the criminal justice process. California defendants are entitled to juries that can decide their cases independently and conscientiously. California defendants have a right to an appellate system that functions as the California Constitution and AEDPA intended. The panel's decision eliminates one of the few paths to federal review that AEDPA preserves for state-court defendants. The panel's treatment of appellate court factfinding is inconsistent with this court's prior practice.

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Timothy J. Simeone and  John R. Grimm, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP, Washington, DC; Robin E. Wechkin, NACDL, Seattle, WA; John T. Philipsborn and Stephen K. Dunkle, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Sacramento, CA.