Friday, June 30, 2017

The heat – my goodness! When I arrived in March, everybody who I met said, “Just wait ‘til summer!” and I smiled and nodded thinking that I’d be fine. I seriously underestimated the heat. I don’t have a car and have around a 45-minute commute to the office on the light rail (tram). The light rail itself is air conditioned, but waiting for one to arrive when it’s 47c can feel like an eternity! However, life in England conditions you to always be grateful for good weather and so I’ve been spending as much time outside as I can stand. 

My brother came for a visit mid-June. He was supposed to stay for two weeks, but ended up staying for almost three when he got bumped from his flight. Multiple flights were cancelled out of Phoenix when temperatures exceeded operating temperatures for small jets, which meant competition for operating flights was fierce. We used our time to hike the Grand Canyon and visit the beach at San Diego. 

Along with the heat, June also brought the opportunity to observe my supervisor in oral argument as Amicus Curiae in front of the Arizona Supreme Court. The court had granted argument on the topic of whether a capital post-conviction petitioner has the right to be competent, as Arizona is lacking a clear decision on this issue. The state welcomed argument, but suggested a limited right which is qualified by a multi-pronged test where the attorney must prove that it is necessary for their client to be able to assist with the specific claim and that the necessary information cannot be obtained from any other source. The Petitioner and Amicus Curiae were obviously advocates of a complete right to competency in post-conviction proceedings. It seems indefensible to suggest that it is somehow unnecessary for an attorney to be able to conduct meaningful communications with their client simply because it is outside of the trial phase, especially in capital post-conviction.