United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
before the Court is a second-in-time Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner Lacey Mark Sivak,
challenging Petitioner's amended judgment of conviction
for first-degree murder. Petitioner was initially sentenced
to death. “After numerous appeals, several capital
resentencings and years of litigation, ”
State's Lodging R-5 at 1, Petitioner obtained
sentencing relief through federal habeas corpus proceedings.
Sivak v. Hardison, 658 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2011). The
Ninth Circuit affirmed this Court's denial of
Petitioner's guilt-phase claims in his first habeas
petition. Id. Petitioner was resentenced to life
imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the trial
court issued an amended judgment of conviction. State's
Lodging Q-3 at 529-30.
Court previously dismissed numerous claims asserted in the
Petition, including (1) civil rights claims challenging the
conditions of Petitioner's confinement, see Nettles
v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 931 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc);
(2) claims challenging Petitioner's previously-vacated
death sentence; and (3) claims that did not assert a
freestanding, cognizable, federal constitutional claim.
Dkt. 13 at 9 n.3, 12-14. On September 27, 2018, the
Court also dismissed Petitioner's resentencing claims as
procedurally defaulted without excuse. Dkt. 116.
result, the only claims remaining for adjudication are
Petitioner's guilt-phase claims challenging his murder
conviction. Having carefully reviewed the record in
this matter, including the available state court record, the
Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary.
See D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d). Accordingly, the
Court enters the following Order dismissing Petitioner's
Court takes judicial notice of the records from
Petitioner's state court proceedings that occurred after
Petitioner's first federal habeas case, which have been
lodged by Respondent. Dkt. 19, 85. See Fed. R.
Evid. 201(b); Dawson v. Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551
n.1 (9th Cir. 2006). The Court need not repeat the factual or
procedural history of this case except as necessary to
explain its decision.
August 28, 2013, after Petitioner's latest resentencing
hearing, the trial court entered an amended judgment of
conviction. State's Lodging Q-3 at 529-30. That
amended judgment-rather than the initial judgment with
respect to which Petitioner obtained habeas relief from his
death sentence-is the judgment challenged in the instant
Petition. See Magwood, 561 U.S. at 339-40;
Wentzell, 674 F.3d at 1127. As the Court has already
explained, the only claims that Petitioner raised when he
challenged the amended judgment, on direct appeal, were that
the sentencing court abused its discretion, under Idaho law,
by (1) sentencing Petitioner to fixed life and (2) denying
Petitioner's motion for reduction of sentence under Idaho
Criminal Rule 35. Dkt. 82 at 16-17, citing
State's Lodging R-1. The Idaho Court of Appeals
rejected these claims, and the Idaho Supreme Court denied
did not pursue any other appeal with respect to the amended
judgment of conviction.
Claims at Issue
the Court's previous dismissals, the following claims
remain-but only to the extent the claims challenge
Petitioner's guilt-phase proceedings:
Claim 1: Petitioner was subjected to excessive force during
arrest and denied medical care, which might have affected
Petitioner's 1981 trial….
Claim 2: Petitioner asserts he was secretly trained by the
U.S. government, but that training was kept secret. As a
result, (a) Petitioner received ineffective assistance of
trial counsel when counsel failed pursue a defense related to
this training, and (b) the trial judge was biased against
Claim 3: The trial judge “tamper[ed] with
[Petitioner's] ability to seek redress” in
violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments….
Claim 4: Petitioner was denied the effective assistance of
counsel with respect to an affidavit that “vanished
from the files.”…
Claim 5: Several witnesses were not excluded from trial prior
to their testimony….
Claim 6: Petitioner's trial counsel knew that an
individual had threatened certain witnesses into silence, yet
“covered it up.”…
Claim 7: Petitioner's attorney blackmailed
Petitioner's family into paying for an evaluation of
Petitioner by stating that if the family did not pay,
Petitioner would receive the death penalty….
Claim 8: (a) The trial judge prohibited Petitioner
“from being able to address matters, ” (b)
Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel, [and]
(c) Petitioner was denied DNA testing ….
Claim 9: (a) Ineffective assistance of trial counsel on
various grounds, (b) police misconduct, and (c) bias against
Petitioner based on the marriage between a prosecutor and a
Claim 10: (a) Unconstitutional jury instructions or verdict
form, and (b) a double jeopardy violation based on the