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Name: Summerlin v. Stewart
Case #: 98-99002
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/12/2001
Subsequent History: Opn withdrawn by Court on 2/11/02 & submission deferred pending State v. Ring (01-488), cert. granted.
Summary

Editor’s note: see subsequent history. An Arizona death penalty case was reversed in part and remanded for further proceedings regarding appellant’s entitlement to an evidentiary hearing on the relevant mental competency of the judge who sentenced him to death. The trial judge’s alleged use of and addiction to marijuana during pretrial, trial, and sentencing proceedings, as evidenced by the judge’s admission of addiction and felony conviction of a marijuana offense, followed by his resignation from the bench and subsequent disbarment, may have deprived appellant of due process of law. Therefore, appellant should have been entitled to investigative funds and an evidentiary hearing in order to develop the connection between the judge’s drug use and his performance during the case.