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534 U. S. ____ (2001)

on petition for writ of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit

Respondent Robert Douglas Smith was convicted in 1982 of first-degree murder, kidnaping, and sexual assault. He was sentenced to death on the murder count, and consecutive 21-year prison terms for the other counts. After a series of unsuccessful petitions for state post-conviction relief, respondent filed a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U. S. C. �2254 (1994 ed. and Supp. V) in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. The petition alleged that his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective for failing to challenge various trial errors. Respondent had previously brought these ineffective assistance claims in 1995 in a petition for state post-conviction relief pursuant to Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32 (West 2000). The Pima County Superior Court denied his claims, finding them waived under Arizona Rule 32.2(a)(3) because respondent failed to raise them in his previous two Rule 32 petitions. In doing so, it rejected as “outrageous” respondent’s argument that his failure to raise these claims was also due to ineffective assistance — in particular, that his prior appellate and Rule 32 counsel, who are members of the Arizona Public Defender’s office, refused to file ineffective assistance of counsel claims because his trial counsel was also a member of the Public Defender’s office. App. to Pet. for Cert. D-1.

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