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c. Default/waiver

Erick Daniel Davila v. Lorie Davis, USSC No. 16-6219, 2017 WL 2722418 (June 26, 2017), affirming Davila v. Davis, No. 15-70013 (5th Cir., May 31, 2016) (unpublished); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court holds that ineffective assistance of counsel in state postconviction proceedings does not provide cause to excuse, in a subsequent… Read More

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Charlotte Jenkins v. Percy Hutton, USSC No. 16-1116, 2017 WL 2621321 (June 19, 2017) (per curiam), reversing Hutton v. Mitchell, 839 F.3d 486 (2016)( 6th Cir. 2016); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Hutton filed a federal habeas petition challenging his death sentence on the grounds that the jury at the penalty phase of… Read More

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Buck v. Davis, USSC No. 15-8049, 2017 WL 685534 (February 22, 2017), reversing and remanding Buck v. Stephens, 623 Fed. Appx. 668 (5th Cir. 2015) (unpublished); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Buck was found guilty of capital murder. Under state law, the jury could impose a death sentence only if it found Buck was… Read More

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Question presented: Whether the rule established in Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S. Ct. 1309 (2012), and Trevino v. Thaler, 133 S. Ct. 1911 (2013), that ineffective state habeas counsel can be seen as cause to overcome the procedural default of a substantial ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim, also applies to procedurally defaulted, but substantial, ineffective… Read More

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Walker Whatley v. Dushan Zatecky, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-2534, 2016 WL 4269805, 8/15/16 The maximum penalty for Whatley’s drug possession conviction was dramatically increased—from 2-to-8 years to 20-to-50 years—under a now-repealed Indiana penalty enhancer for drug offenses committed within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center,” defined as a “building or structure that… Read More

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Kenneth Morris v. Bryan Bartow, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-3482, 2016 WL 4207960, 8/10/16 Morris claims his guilty plea to first degree reckless homicide was involuntary, and that his appellate attorney was ineffective for failing to raise the issue of involuntariness in his no-merit appeal. The Seventh Circuit rejects his claims. As the court… Read More

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Question presented: Duane Buck’s death penalty case raises a pressing issue of national importance: whether and to what extent the criminal justice system tolerates racial bias and discrimination. Specifically, did the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit impose an improper and unduly burdensome Certificate of Appealability (COA) standard that contravenes this Court’s… Read More

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Deborah K. Johnson v. Donna Kay Lee, 578 U.S. __ (2016)(per curiam); SCOTUS docket Like Wisconsin, California has a rule that a defendant may not raise a claim for the first time on on state collateral review if he could have raised it on direct appeal. Wisconsin calls it the “Escalona bar.” California calls it… Read More

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