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  1. #1

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    Kevin Artice Miles - Arizona Death Row




    Facts of the Crime:

    On December 7, 1992, Miles and two 16-year-old companions planned a carjacking and discussed killing someone. At 1:30 p.m. that day, Miles and his two companions waited for a car to stop near the area of 24th Street and Columbus Avenue in Tucson.

    When the 40-year-old victim approached in her vehicle and stopped, one of the two companions asked her for a "light" for a cigarette. As she reached for the lighter, the companion pointed a .45 caliber handgun at her head and forced her to move over. Miles and the two companions took control of the car, kept the gun pointed at her, and drove her to a desert area, where she was shot once in the chest. She died from this gunshot wound, which lacerated her heart and her left lung.

    Miles was sentenced to death on July 6, 1993.

  2. #2
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    On August 10, 2010, Miles filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over the denial of his habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir.../ca9/10-99016/

  3. #3
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    KEVIN MILES V. CHARLES RYAN

    In today's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, Miles' petition for habeas relief was DENIED.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  4. #4
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    I've just taken a quick look at the opinion. All three judges were Clinton appointees. Two voted to deny (Tallman and Graber), while one voted to grant (Berzon). It's interesting to see that the Ninth Circuit seems to finally be upholding more death sentences after repeated unanimous smackdowns by the US Supreme Court. The Pinholster decision seems to have had an especially profound impact in many recent Ninth Circuit capital cases in which a habeas petition was denied.

    On a side note, it looks as though the Fourth Circuit's swinging the other way. One Virginia death sentence after another's been getting overturned lately.

  5. #5
    Yeah, California is pretty light about actually carrying out the death penalty. It's pretty ridiculous, actually. It's pretty much impossible to get a habeas claim past the US Supreme Court though.

  6. #6
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    Court upholds death sentence for man involved in Tucson murder

    A federal appellate court Monday upheld the death sentence for Kevin Miles, an Arizona man involved in a 1992 carjacking and murder in Tucson.

    Miles, 44, was convicted of felony murder for his role as an accomplice in the carjacking, robbery and slaying of Patricia Baeuerlen, who was driven into the desert and shot by one of Miles’ two companions.

    A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Miles’ claim that his trial attorney was ineffective during sentencing because she failed to highlight his drug habit and his troubled history growing up in Winslow.

    “The mitigating evidence that the court never heard – post-traumatic stress disorder from having been physically abused as a child, with paddles, whips, sticks and fists – the sentencing judge never heard that,” said Assistant Federal Public Defender Tim Gabrielsen.

    Those factors “gave Kevin Miles less opportunity to withstand the commands of the more culpable co-defendant who actually performed the shooting,” Gabrielsen said.

    Miles was 24 when he and two 16-year-old acquaintances forced their way into Baeuerlen’s car after one of the youths, Levi Jackson, approached, asked for a light and then pointed a .45-caliber handgun at her head.

    After Miles and Ray Hernandez got in the car, Jackson drove into a secluded desert area outside of Tucson as Baeuerlen pleaded for her life. He turned onto a dirt road, ordered Baeuerlen to get out and remove her shoes and jacket.

    As Baeuerlen complied, Jackson taunted her, and after five to 10 minutes shot her once in the heart, leaving her in the desert. Miles later said he thought she was still alive as they drove away.
    Miles drove Baeuerlen’s car to Phoenix later that day, used her ATM card to withdraw money and exchanged her children’s Christmas gifts that were in the car for other goods. The next day Miles met with friends and laughed about the murder over drinks.

    He was convicted in 1993 and sentenced to death. The judge noted that aggravating factors – prior robbery convictions and the especially cruel manner of the killing, among others – outweighed any mitigating circumstances.

    In his latest appeal, Miles argued this his initial counsel, Barbara Sattler, had erred by downplaying his drug addiction and troubled childhood.

    But Circuit Judge Susan Graber said that Sattler’s decision was a strategic one as she sought to portray Miles as a normal man overwhelmed by tribulations and bad company.

    “(Miles) received a capital sentence primarily on account of three aggravating factors – previous convictions for three armed robberies, committing the carjacking in pursuit of pecuniary gain, and committing the murder in an especially cruel manner,” Graber wrote. “To portray him as a crazed drug addict with a sordid past would have contradicted the chosen strategy.”

    In a partial dissent, Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon criticized Sattler’s handling of information about Miles’ turbulent upbringing.

    “Sattler was focused on finding people in Tucson who might know something about the crime, rather than on finding information about Miles’ background,” Berzon wrote. “Sattler did ask the investigator to interview four people from Winslow. Of these, the investigator spoke to three high school friends who knew nothing of Miles’ earlier childhood.”

    State prosecutors welcomed Monday’s ruling.

    “We’re pleased by the court’s decision,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Bass said in an email. “It’s been 20 years since Patricia Baeuerlen’s murder, and her family shouldn’t have to wait this long for justice.”
    http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/...tucson-murder/kmiles.jpg

  7. #7
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    Judge asked to step aside in death case

    Defense lawyers for an Arizona inmate sentenced to death for a carjacking murder say his case hits too close to home for a federal appellate judge and she should step aside.

    The father of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Susan Graber was the victim of a “tragic murder” involving an Ohio carjacking and a man’s death sentence in that case was overturned, attorneys for inmate Kevin Miles noted in a motion filed Monday.

    The defense attorneys said those and other similarities between the cases mean the judge should step aside because federal law requires judges to excuse themselves when their impartiality can reasonably be questioned.

    Graber wrote an Aug. 27 opinion in which a 9th Circuit panel ruled against Miles on an appeal claiming inadequate legal representation, but Miles’ attorneys are now asking the appeals court to reconsider that ruling.

    Court spokesman David Madden said Graber was declining to comment on the pending request that she step aside and said the San Francisco-based court will rule on it in due course.

    “My understanding is that this has never come up at all in another proceeding,” Madden said when asked whether the murder of the father had been raised as an issue before.

    Graber, who was an Oregon Supreme Court justice when she was appointed to the federal appeals court in 1998, declined in 1999 to discuss her father’s killing.

    However, she was quoted as telling an online legal site, law.com, that her general judicial philosophy was to decide cases without letting her personal views “distort the answer.”

    Graber’s father, Julius, was fatally shot in 1974 in a cemetery where he was driven in his own car after being abducted by two teenagers from a Cincinnati parking garage.

    In the Ohio case, Willie Lee Bell participated in the abduction of Graber’s father but wasn’t the triggerman. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Bell’s death sentence in 1978 because Ohio’s sentencing law at the time did not allow consideration of evidence that could support leniency.

    In the Arizona case, Miles was convicted in the 1992 murder of Patricia Baeuerlen of Tucson. Miles and two juveniles abducted Baeuerlen at a traffic light, and she was fatally shot by one of them after she was driven in her vehicle to a place in the desert.

    Both victims pleaded for their lives and both were parents who left behind children, Miles’ defense lawyers said in their motion asking Graber to recuse step aside.

    Because of the cases’ similarities, “the average person on the street or the disinterested lay observer would, if apprised of these facts, entertain a significant doubt as to Judge Graber’s impartiality,” the motion said.

    A judicial ethics expert said rulings interpreting the recusal law mean that it really only matters that the two cases’ victims, witnesses and the perpetrators were different.

    “The fact that the judge’s family suffered from the same crime all by itself is not a reason to question the judge’s impartiality,” said Professor Stephen Gillers of the New York University School of Law.

    Graber could step aside if the case “brings up memories or what have you, but she is under no obligation to do so,” Gillers said.

    However, another legal scholar said Graber’s background was a “legitimate cause for concern from the defense’s standpoint.”

    Though there is a presumption that judges will be impartial and Julius Graber was killed decades ago, “you’re talking about someone’s father,” said Professor Charles Geyh of Indiana University.

    “I think the presumption of impartiality is there, and I think it holds most of the time, but I think you can imagine circumstances in which a reasonable person would say this is just too close to home,” Geyh said.

    The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s online listing of offenders shows that Bell, now 56, is serving a life sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

    It states he’s next eligible for parole in 2014 but doesn’t detail any previous consideration for parole.

    http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa...9bb2963f4.html
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  8. #8
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    Judge whose dad was killed refuses to step aside

    A federal appeals court says defense lawyers crossed the line by asking a judge to step aside from an Arizona death penalty case involving a Tucson carjacking murder because her own father was killed in a similar crime.

    Judge Susan Graber denied the request by death row inmate Kevin Miles' lawyers that she excuse herself.

    An order issued Friday by two other 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges criticizes federal public defenders' request based on the 1974 killing of Graber's father in a Cincinnati carjacking.

    The two judges reject the assertion that Graber's impartiality can reasonably be questioned.

    They also say Graber has decades to absorb her loss but that forcing her to relive it now goes beyond limits of appropriate legal representation.

    Graber is a former Oregon judge.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/J...#ixzz27nWfojSq
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  9. #9
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    KEVIN MILES V. CHARLES RYAN

    In today's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, the court AFFIRMED en banc the district court's DENIAL of Miles' 28 U.S.C. habeas corpus petition.

    Partial concurrence and partial dissent by Judge Berzon.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  10. #10
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    Miles already filed his writ of ceratori before SCotUS after the March 25 denial of rehearing.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-6025.htm

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