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4. Standard of review

SCOTUS summarily reverses grant of habeas relief

White v. Wheeler, USSC No. 14-1372, 2015 WL 8546240, 12/14/15 (per curiam), reversing Wheeler v. Simpson, 779 F.3d 366 (6th Cir. 2015); docket The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals failed to give proper deference to the state courts’ rulings when it granted habeas relief on the ground that the state courts unreasonably applied Supreme Court precedent regarding removal of a… Read More

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Paysun Long v. Kim Butler, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-3327, 10/27/15 Long is entitled to habeas relief because the prosecutor in his state murder trial failed to correct perjured testimony given by a state’s witness. Four eyewitnesses told police Long shot a person named Sherman. At Long’s trial, one witness maintained her identification, two… Read More

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Question presented Did the Seventh Circuit violate 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and a long line of this Court’s decisions by awarding habeas relief in the absence of clearly established precedent from this Court? Docket 7th Circuit opinion Cert petition Scotusblog page Owens was convicted of murder at a court trial. Owens challenged the decision to convict… Read More

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Mark D. Jensen v. Marc Clements, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-1380, 9/8/15, affirming Jensen v. Schwochert, No. 11-C-0803 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 18, 2013) At Jensen’s trial for the murder of his wife Julie the State introduced Julie’s handwritten letter to the police, written two weeks before her death, in which she wrote she would never… Read More

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Davis v. Ayala, USSC No. 13-1428 (June 18, 2015), reversing Ayala v. Wong, 756 F.3d 656 (9th Cir. 2013); majority opinion by Justice Alito; concurrences by Justices Kennedy and Thomas; dissent by Justice Sotomayor SCOTUSblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Jury selection for Hector Ayala’s murder trial spanned 3 months and involved more than 200 prospective jurors… Read More

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Glebe v. Frost, USSC No. 14-95, 11/17/14 (per curiam), reversing Frost v. Van Boening, 757 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc); docket and Scotusblog page Supreme Court precedent has not clearly established that improper restriction of a defendant’s closing argument is structural error, so the Ninth Circuit erred in granting habeas relief on that ground. Frost wanted to defend… Read More

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Questions presented: (1) Whether a state court’s rejection of a claim of federal constitutional error on the ground that any error, if one occurred, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt is an “adjudicat[ion] on the merits” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), so that a federal court may set aside the resulting final… Read More

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Lopez v. Smith, USSC No. 13-946, 10/6/14 (per curiam), reversing Smith v. Lopez, 731 F.3d 859 (9th Cir. 2013); docket When a state prisoner seeks federal habeas relief on the ground that a state court, in adjudicating a claim on the merits, misapplied federal law, a federal court may grant relief only if the state court’s… Read More

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