MEMORANDUM* Marvin Marion Benson, an Arizona prisoner, appeals pro se the district court's dismissal of his habeas corpus petition brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Benson claims the district court erred by finding that he procedurally defaulted on his claims in state court. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1291, 2253. We review the dismissal of a habeas petition de novo, Sanders v. Ratelle, 21 F.3d 1446, 1451 (9th Cir. 1994), and affirm. A claim is procedurally defaulted for federal habeas corpus purposes if the state court relies on a procedural default to deny relief. Harris v. Reed, 489 U.S. 255, 263, 103 L. Ed. 2d 308, 109 S. Ct. 1038 (1989); Thomas v. Goldsmith, 979 F.2d 746, 749 (9th Cir. 1992). If the highest court does not explain the reason for denying the claim, we will look back to the last reasoned state court decision to determine if the claim is procedurally barred. Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797, 803, 115 L. Ed. 2d 706, 111 S. Ct. 2590 (1991). A court will hear a habeas claim despite a state procedural default if it finds cause for the default and prejudice from the alleged violations of federal law. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 749-50, 115 L. Ed. 2d 640, 111 S. Ct. 2546 (1991).