“Not biased?”

February 27, 2013

  • 197 Habeas Corpus
  • 197II Grounds for Relief; Illegality of Restraint
  • 197II(B) Particular Defects and Authority for Detention in General
  • 197k467 k. Courts; Judges, Magistrates, or Officers.

197 Habeas CorpusAlthough trial judge’s comments and actions both on and off the bench in relation to federal habeas petitioner’s capital murder case, including his placement of postcard depicting infamous Texas “hanging judge” Roy Bean on the bench during voir dire, his comment that he was doing “God’s work” in seeing petitioner executed, and his statement that petitioner eventually would be found guilty, were highly improper, state habeas court’s determination that judge was not biased was not an unreasonable application of controlling Supreme Court precedent, nor did it involve an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented, under highly deferential standards of Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA); allegations of bias related to personal animosity, not pecuniary interests or procedural infirmities, and though many of judge’s actions showed generalized impertinence, they lacked any indicia of particularized bias toward petitioner.
Buntion v. Quarterman, 524 F.3d 664 (5th Cir. 2008)