10th Circuit rejects habeas claim in Ryder death penalty case

James Chandler Ryder believed that the apocalypse would occur on January 1, 2000, and planned to flee to the Yukon, where he believed he could survive that event. Daisy Hallum and her son, Sam, were storing supplies that Mr. Ryder had acquired in anticipation of the catastrophe, but they had a dispute with him and refused to return them. Upset that the Hallums were interfering with his chances of survival, Mr. Ryder killed them. As it turns out, the world did not end in 2000, and Mr. Ryder was eventually sentenced to death.

Yesterday the Tenth Circuit rejected Mr. Ryder’s claims that he was incompetent to stand trial; that Oklahoma’s procedures for assessing his competency were unconstitutional; that his trial counsel was ineffective for not fully investigating his mental health history; and that appellate counsel was ineffective.

The opinion is Ryder v. Warrior, by Judge McHugh.

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