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Moormann v. Ryan, No. 08-99035

Capital Habeas Matter

In Moormann v. Ryan, No. 08-99035, a capital habeas matter, the court affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where 1) trial counsel's failure to investigate and pursue a Christensen defense did not prejudice petitioner; 2) there was nothing in trial counsel's declaration to contradict the Arizona Supreme Court's finding that petitioner knowingly waived the lesser-included-offense instructions; and 3) even assuming there was a plausible argument that trial counsel should have done more, there was no reasonable probability that the Arizona Supreme Court would have reversed petitioner's capital sentence.

  • As the court wrote:  "Robert Henry Moormann was convicted in Arizona and sentenced to death in 1985 for the brutal murder of his adoptive mother. The murder occurred in a Florence, Arizona motel room while Moormann was on furlough from the Arizona State Prison. This case has a protracted history in both the Arizona state courts and in the federal courts. In 2005, we decided the first appeal from the district court's denial of habeas relief."

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