10th Circuit rejects challange to death sentence and one judge calls for new excessive force rule when young children are arrested at school.

Jones v Trammell

Jones was sentenced to death for shooting the victim during a carjacking. He sought federal habeas relief which eh district court denied. Jones was allowed to appeal judgment as to one issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. The panel affirmed. It held that state court determination that Jones was not prejudiced by the failure to call a witness who purportedly would have testified Jones’ codefendant said Jones was not the shooter was entitled to deference as the reasoning in support was reasonable given the credibility problems with witness and the fact the jury knew the codefendant changed his story was brought out at trial. Additionally, the evidence that Jones was the shooter was strong independent of the codefendant’s testimony.

Hawker v Sandy City Corporation (Published concurrence)

Hawker brought a 1983 action alleging the arresting officer used excessive force on their 9 year old grandson by twisting his arm. The district court granted summary judgment to City and the panel affirmed in an unpublished order on the ground that the grandson had physically resisted by grabbing the officer’s arm and the arm twist was therefore constitutional. Judge Lucero filed a published concurrence agreeing that under current precedent, the result was correct. He argued that arresting 9 year olds for theft is part of the school to prison pipeline and the law should change to remove these types of incidents from the juvenile justice system and place it back on the shoulders of educators. He argued that when 6 to 9 year olds are the plaintiffs, a jury should decide if the forced used was appropriate.