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h. Jury issues

Donovan M. Burris v. Judy P. Smith, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 15-2891, 4/28/16 Burris’s claim that a supplemental instruction to the jury about how to determine “utter disregard for human life” doesn’t present a claim for federal habeas relief because it presents only a claim about an error of state law, not a… Read More

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Arthur Mitchell v. Donald Enloe, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 14-2946, 3/24/16 The Seventh Circuit rejects Mitchell’s claims that the lawyer representing him at his state murder was ineffective because he should have asked for a provocation instruction as well as a self-defense instruction, because the two defenses were inconsistent and the jury clearly rejected the… Read More

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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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seventh circuit decision Habeas – Jury Exposure to Extraneous Information  Subsequent to trial, Hall discovered that a juror’s son was a fellow inmate of Hall who initially told the juror that Hall was likely innocent, but later indicated that he “and several co-inmates had changed their mind about Hall and thought him guilty.” The (Indiana) state court ruled… Read More

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seventh circuit court of appeals decision Habeas Review – Batson Claim  The State’s pattern of peremptory strikes – at least 15, possibly 17, out of 20, directed at African-Americans – was so “disproportionate” as to “give[] rise to an inference of discrimination.” This is so, despite Harris limiting his challenges to 9 of these 17… Read More

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Habeas Review: Jury Selection Process

Berghuis v. Smith, USSC No. 08-1402, 3/30/10 Defendants have Sixth Amendment right to impartial jury drawn from fair cross section of community. To establish prima facie violation of this “fair-cross-section,” requirement, a defendant must prove that: (1) a group qualifying as “distinctive” (2) is not fairly and reasonably represented in jury venires, and (3) “systematic… Read More

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