428 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2005), 02-99002, Daniels v. Woodford

Docket Nº:02-99002, 02-99003.
Citation:428 F.3d 1181
Party Name:Jackson Chambers DANIELS, Jr., Petitioner-Appellee, v. Jeanne S. WOODFORD, Warden, of California State Prison at San Quentin, Respondent-Appellant. Jackson Chambers Daniels, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant, v. Jeanne S. Woodford, Warden, of California State Prison at San Quentin, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:November 02, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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428 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2005)

Jackson Chambers DANIELS, Jr., Petitioner-Appellee,


Jeanne S. WOODFORD, Warden, of California State Prison at San Quentin, Respondent-Appellant.

Jackson Chambers Daniels, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant,


Jeanne S. Woodford, Warden, of California State Prison at San Quentin, Respondent-Appellee.

Nos. 02-99002, 02-99003.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

November 2, 2005

Argued and Submitted February 10, 2004--Pasadena, California

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John T. Philipsborn, San Francisco, California and John G. Cotsirilos, San Diego, California, for the petitioner-appellee/cross-appellant.

Warren P. Robinson, Deputy Attorney General, San Diego, California, for the respondent-cross-appellant/appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, J. Spencer Letts, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-92-04683-JSL.

Before: Betty B. Fletcher, Harry Pregerson, and Warren J. Ferguson, Circuit Judges.


PREGERSON, Circuit Judge:


Jackson Chambers Daniels, Jr., is a sixty-six-year-old paraplegic on California's death row. On December 1, 1983, Daniels was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of police officers Dennis Doty and Phil Trust.

Daniels shot and killed the officers when they attempted to take him into custody following the denial of his appeal on an earlier robbery conviction. Daniels was sentenced to death on January 31, 1984.

I. Events Prior to the Instant Offense

To understand the circumstances of the murders of officers Doty and Trust, it is necessary to first review the events surrounding a bank robbery Daniels committed in 1980. Attempting to flee from that robbery, Daniels was shot nine times by police officers. As a result of the shooting, Daniels was rendered a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. Pursuant to a plea agreement negotiated by Daniels's public defender and the prosecutor, Daniels agreed to plead guilty in exchange for being permitted to remain free on his own recognizance for six months so that he could seek medical treatment and rehabilitation for his injuries. Despite this plea agreement, after Daniels pled guilty, the trial court sentenced him to thirteen years in prison and remanded him to immediate custody.

On the same day Daniels was sentenced, attorney Andrew Roth, who knew Daniels from prior representations, met Daniels in the hall of the court house. Roth later testified that Daniels appeared to be "in great distress due to improper medical care." Roth later visited with Daniels in

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custody and, although Daniels's physical distress was somewhat lessened, Roth was disturbed by Daniels's psychological condition and expression of suicidal thoughts. After this meeting with Daniels, Roth took over Daniels's case and appealed the robbery conviction on the ground that the plea agreement had been violated because the trial court did not permit Daniels to seek six months of rehabilitation and treatment before surrendering to custody. During the pendency of that appeal, Daniels was released on bond.

In 1981, while Daniels remained free on bond, a Riverside police officer mistakenly arrested Daniels on the erroneous belief that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. In a suit for money damages filed in state court against the City of Riverside, Daniels alleged that while in custody, he was beaten, dragged into a jail cell without his wheelchair, and denied necessary medical care, including a catheter. As a consequence, Daniels required treatment for urine poisoning and became fearful of being returned to custody. According to Daniels, he feared incarceration because the prison system lacked the medical professionals and supplies necessary to provide the care he needed as a paraplegic.

II. The Current Offense

In April 1982, the California Court of Appeal denied Daniels's appeal of his bank robbery conviction, and Daniels was ordered to surrender to custody. When he failed to appear at two hearings as ordered, a warrant was issued for his arrest. On May 13, 1982, officers Doty and Trust were sent to arrest Daniels at the residence of James Cornish.

When the officers arrived at the Cornish home, they were shown to Daniels's bedroom by his caretaker, Renee Ross. According to Ross, only she, Daniels, the two officers, and Cornish's infant son were in the house at the time. The officers found Daniels sitting on his bed wearing only a shirt. While Ross was assisting Daniels with getting dressed, Daniels reached between his legs and produced a gun. When Ross saw Daniels with the gun, she ducked into a bedroom closet. From inside the closet, Ross heard gunshots in the bedroom.

After the gunfire stopped, Daniels called Ross out of the closet. Ross saw Daniels sitting on the floor with a gunshot wound in his right hand. Doty was lying on the floor. At Daniels's direction, Ross assisted Daniels into his wheelchair. As they left the house, Ross saw Trust in another bedroom, kneeling on the floor.

Daniels instructed Ross to drive to Del ores Butler's home. During the drive, Daniels told Ross that he had "pa[id] them back because of what they had done to him" and that the police had previously shot him nine times. When Butler asked about the injury to his hand, Daniels admitted killing the two officers. With Ross's help, Daniels then fled to Ted Smith's house, where he was later apprehended by the police.

Before his arrest, Daniels told Ted Smith what had happened that morning. According to Smith, Daniels told him that after he shot Doty, Trust shot the gun out of his hand. When Daniels fell to the floor, he got Doty's gun and used that to shoot Trust. Ballistics evidence supports Daniels's confession, showing that (1) Doty was shot three times from an unidentified gun; (2) Trust had fired four bullets, three of which were recovered in the house, the fourth in Daniels's hand; and (3) Trust had been shot six times, primarily with Doty's gun.

III. Appointment of Counsel

The trial court appointed the Riverside County Public Defender's Office to represent

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Daniels during the trial on the murder charges. At his arraignment, Daniels was represented by Patricia Lahti, but Daniels moved to have attorney Roth substituted as his counsel.1 Roth, who also attended Daniels's arraignment, advised the court that he was available to represent Daniels.

As the basis for his motion to substitute counsel, Daniels explained to the trial court that he had a conflict of interest with the Public Defender's Office, which had represented him in plea negotiations concerning the 1980 robbery arrest. The conflict arose when, unknown to Daniels, his public defender in the robbery case, Patrick Magers, simultaneously engaged in negotiations with the District Attorney's Office for Daniels's plea and--acting in his own interest--for a position within the same District Attorney's Office. Indeed, after Daniels accepted the plea agreement, Magers left the Public Defender's Office to work in the District Attorney's Office, and Daniels was assigned a new public defender for his sentencing hearing. Neither the prosecutor nor the public defender who replaced Magers apprised the court of the plea agreement's condition permitting Daniels to seek treatment in lieu of immediate incarceration. This is why, at the sentencing hearing, Daniels was remanded to immediate custody.

Patricia Lahti, Daniels's public defender at his arraignment on the murder charges, notified the court that Daniels had filed a federal habeas petition alleging that the public defender in his robbery case had provided ineffective assistance of counsel.2 Although she believed it was "close," she declined to state that a conflict existed.3 Nevertheless, Lahti urged the court to appoint Roth as Daniels's counsel, advising the court that Daniels mistrusted the Public Defender's Office, would not cooperate with it in his representation, and that she could not assure Daniels that the office would effectively represent him.

Despite this evident conflict, the trial court denied Daniels's motion to substitute counsel.4 At Roth's urging, Deputy Public Defender Robert Keller undertook representation of Daniels after Roth promised that he would work on Daniels's case pro bono. Keller himself voiced strong reservations about the appointment, writing to Public Defender McMillian that there was an "obvious" conflict of interest in the Office's representation of Daniels and asking McMillian to withdraw from the case.

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After the Office again refused to declare a conflict, Keller became the attorney of record, while Roth took the actual lead in the case.

Roth was appointed co-counsel on October 15, 1982. One month later, the prosecution moved to have Roth removed on the ground that the state intended to call him as a witness to testify regarding Daniels's robbery conviction and appeal. According to the prosecution, Roth's testimony was necessary to establish that Daniels knew that his appeal had been denied and that he was to return to custody. Under the prosecution's theory of the case, whether Roth told Daniels to surrender to custody was material on the issues of premeditation, deliberation, and malice aforethought.

In opposing the motion, Roth argued that the attorney-client privilege prohibited him from revealing his communications with Daniels and that, in any event, evidence on these issues was available through other sources.5 In...

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