(a) Monitoring of Death Penalty Cases. The clerk is authorized to monitor any case within this circuit with a scheduled execution date, and to communicate with all parties and relevant state and federal courts. If the parties submit documents to the clerk before filing a notice of appeal, the clerk will docket the documents under a miscellaneous docket. The clerk closes the miscellaneous docket case upon the opening of a regularly docketed death penalty case, or upon other final disposition of the case without its reaching this court.
(b) Death Penalty Case Pool and Panels.
(1) Death Penalty Case Pool. The death penalty case pool consists of all active judges of the court and those senior judges who have filed with the clerk a statement of willingness to serve on death penalty case panels.
(2) Death Penalty Case Panel. On receipt of a notice of appeal or a request for a certificate of appealability, or other application to this court for relief in a death penalty case, the clerk dockets the case and assigns it to a death penalty case panel.
(3) Selection. The clerk assigns judges to death penalty case panels by random drawing from the death penalty case pool. If a judge is unable to serve, that judge's name returns to the pool after the drawing of a replacement. If a random drawing results in the selection of three senior judges, the clerk sets aside the third senior judge's name and continues drawing until the selection of an active judge's name, after which the clerk returns the third senior judge's name, and the names of any senior judges drawn thereafter, to the pool.
(4) Rotation. A judge who serves on a death penalty case panel is not eligible to serve again until the pool is exhausted. When the pool is exhausted, the clerk prepares a new death penalty case pool and selects death penalty case panels from the pool in like manner.
(5) Replacement. If any judge serving on a death penalty case panel is unable to continue to serve, the clerk draws a replacement from the death penalty case pool, and returns the replaced judge's name to the pool.
(6) Duties of Death Penalty Case Panel. A panel assigned to a particular death penalty case handles all matters pertaining to that case, including the direct appeals of co-defendants, at least to the extent that they involve issues in common.
(c) Request for Certificate of Appealability. The clerk initially refers a request for a certificate of appealability to a single judge of the panel assigned to a death penalty case, who has authority to issue the certificate. If the single judge denies the certificate, the clerk refers the application to the full panel for disposition by majority vote.
Last modified at 12/15/2009