Taylor v. Cate

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 11-19-2014
  • Case #: 11-55247
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Schroeder for the Court; District Judge Tunheim; Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Circuit Judge Clifton.
  • Full Text Opinion

A state trial court may not resentence a petitioner based on new evidence that was not heard by the jury in the original trial proceeding, and, in which case, a petitioner is entitled to a new trial.

In 1988, Ronald Taylor (“Taylor”) was convicted by a jury of felony murder in connection with an attempted robbery and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. In 1996, Taylor reported that albeit his presence at the scene of the shooting, he was not the actual shooter. New extrinsic evidence corroborated that Taylor was not the shooter, and he was resentenced as an aider and abettor by the state trial court, which granted the possibility of parole. Taylor claimed he was entitled to a new trial because the jury had not found him guilty of aiding and abetting and petitioned for habeas corpus relief. The district court denied Taylor’s petition. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court held that by resentencing Taylor based on new evidence that was not heard and factual determinations that were not reached by the jury was a violation of Taylor’s Sixth Amendment and due process rights. Thus, the panel concluded that Taylor is entitled to a new trial. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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