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Dennis v. Chappell

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

February 24, 2014

WILLIAM MICHAEL DENNIS, Petitioner,
v.
KEVIN CHAPPELL, Warden of San Quentin State Prison, Respondent.

ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO EXPAND THE RECORD AND DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [ECF Nos. 293, 294]

JEREMY FOGEL, District Judge.

The Court has granted Respondent's motions for summary judgment with respect to a number of Petitioner's claims for relief, including Claims 21 and 22. See ECF Nos. 117, 240. Claim 21 alleges that the California Supreme Court did not provide meaningful review of Petitioner's case and institutionally does not provide meaningful review of capital judgments as required by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Claim 22 alleges that California's death penalty law does not narrow the class of death-eligible offenders as required by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Petitioner moves to expand the record with fifteen new exhibits that he asserts are relevant to dismissed Claims 21 and 22[1] and for leave to seek reconsideration based upon the new exhibits. Respondent opposes both motions.

I. MOTION TO EXPAND THE RECORD

Petitioner seeks to expand the record as to Claim 21 to include the following exhibits:

Exhibit 1: Statement of the Vote: General Election (November 1986);
Exhibit 2: Judicial Independence, the Confirmation Election, and Republican Government, Text of Talk (January 29, 1986);
Exhibit 3: California District Attorneys Association, Prosecutor's Whitepaper on the Supreme Court Confirmation (February 28, 1985);
Exhibit 4: Californians to Defeat Rose Bird (September 15, 1985);
Exhibit 5: Declaration and Testimony of Justin McCrary (July 6, 2008);
Exhibit 6: Declaration and Testimony of Sam Kamin (July 14, 2009);
Exhibit 7: Declaration and Testimony of John Poulos (July 26, 2009);
Exhibit 8: California Supreme Court Capital Decisions, 1982-2011; and
Exhibit 9: Declaration and Testimony of Gerald Uelman (January 28, 2010).

Petitioner contends that these exhibits demonstrate that opponents of former Chief Judge Rose Bird manipulated the California Supreme Court's death penalty jurisprudence by removing justices who had decided cases in favor of death-sentenced appellants. Petitioner acknowledges that Exhibits 1through4 contain information that has been available publicly since the mid-1980s, but he asserts that those exhibits provide necessary background for the expert declarations and testimony contained in Exhibits 5-7 and 9. The ...


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