Death Sentence: Appeal

Conviction of a death penalty offense triggers the appeals process. Understanding the appeals process is essential to knowing what to expect in the years ahead.

  • If convicted of murder with special circumstances, a defendant may directly appeal to the California Supreme Court. Usually represented by two attorneys at the appeals level, a defendant — now referred to as respondent — files a brief before the high court in California.
  • If the conviction is affirmed, the respondent — now referred to as a petitioner — files a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. If the writ for review is denied, attention turns to a second avenue of appeal, called a State habeas corpus review by the California Supreme court.
  • A State habeas corpus review looks at facts presented outside the trial record. If the California Supreme Court again affirms the conviction, an appeal on the habeas corpus review can be made to the United States Supreme Court.
  • When state avenues are exhausted, an appeal to question federal constitutional issues is made in U.S. District Court.
  • From federal court, the matter might be referred back to the California Supreme Court or on to the Ninth District Court of Appeals for oral argument.
  • This appeal may then move forward with a federal writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Failing here, circumstance may dictate a second habeas corpus review in either federal or state court. If no relief is obtained, the case will go to the governor for consideration of clemency.
  • Barring clemency, execution is scheduled. The last execution in California was in 2006 with delays since that time due to challenges to the legality and process of lethal injection.

At present, 736 prisoners are living in wait of their death in California prisons. If you are facing capital punishment, conviction ends one process and begins what could be a decades-long process to save your life.

- See more at: http://www.justiceisdunn.com/blog/death-sentence-appeal/#sthash.vinTLB79.dpuf

Conviction of a death penalty offense triggers the appeals process. Understanding the appeals process is essential to knowing what to expect in the years ahead.

  • If convicted of murder with special circumstances, a defendant may directly appeal to the California Supreme Court. Usually represented by two attorneys at the appeals level, a defendant — now referred to as respondent — files a brief before the high court in California.
  • If the conviction is affirmed, the respondent — now referred to as a petitioner — files a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. If the writ for review is denied, attention turns to a second avenue of appeal, called a State habeas corpus review by the California Supreme court.
  • A State habeas corpus review looks at facts presented outside the trial record. If the California Supreme Court again affirms the conviction, an appeal on the habeas corpus review can be made to the United States Supreme Court.
  • When state avenues are exhausted, an appeal to question federal constitutional issues is made in U.S. District Court.
  • From federal court, the matter might be referred back to the California Supreme Court or on to the Ninth District Court of Appeals for oral argument.
  • This appeal may then move forward with a federal writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Failing here, circumstance may dictate a second habeas corpus review in either federal or state court. If no relief is obtained, the case will go to the governor for consideration of clemency.
  • Barring clemency, execution is scheduled. The last execution in California was in 2006 with delays since that time due to challenges to the legality and process of lethal injection.

At present, 736 prisoners are living in wait of their death in California prisons. If you are facing capital punishment, conviction ends one process and begins what could be a decades-long process to save your life.

Posted in Appeals | Tagged appeals, conviction, death penalty, habeas corpus