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Moore v. Czerniak

574 F.3d 1092 (2009)

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Moore v. Czerniak

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

574 F.3d 1092 (2009)

Facts

Randy Moore (defendant) was instructed to report to the police station for questioning on the death of Kenneth Rogers. Moore provided a statement to the officers that he had been at Rogers’s home on the day of the murder but remained in the car while two of his friends entered the home. The officers released Moore on the condition that he return the following day with his brother, Raymond. Raymond was previously charged with a separate murder, but the charge was dropped after he cooperated with the investigation. The next day, Moore and Raymond arrived at the station. Moore was informed that if he cooperated, he would receive a deal just like Raymond had received. In response, Raymond told Moore to cooperate, and Moore agreed. Before eliciting Moore’s confession, the officer told Moore to state that the confession was voluntary. Moore obliged and then confessed that he and his friends had blindfolded Rogers and, while forcing him to walk up a hill, Rogers stumbled onto Moore, causing Moore’s gun to discharge a fatal shot into Rogers’s head. After the confession, Moore was charged with felony murder and pleaded guilty. Moore then received the mandatory 25-year sentence. Moore appealed the sentence but was unsuccessful. In response, Moore filed a habeas corpus petition on the ground that he had been denied effective assistance of counsel because his counsel had failed to file a motion to suppress his involuntary confession. The district court found that Moore’s confession was involuntary because it was based on the officers’ false promise of a deal but that counsel’s failure to file a suppression motion did not meet the threshold standard of objective unreasonableness. Moore appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Reinhardt, J.)

Concurrence (Berzon, J.)

Dissent (Bybee, J.)

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