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21. Habeas corpus

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USSC No. 16-6219, 2017 WL 2722418 (June 26, 2017), affirming Davila v. Davis, No. 15-70013 (5th Cir., May 31, 2016) (unpublished); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court holds that ineffective assistance of counsel in state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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Brendan Dassey v. Michael A. Dittman, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 16-3397, 2017 WL 2683893, 6/22/17, affirming Dassey v. Pittman, 201 F.Supp.3d 963 (E.D. Wis. 2016). Over a dissent, the Seventh Circuit holds that the Wisconsin court of appeals unreasonably applied clearly established federal law when they decided that Brendan Dassey voluntarily confessed to being involved with Steven… 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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Virginia v. Dennis LeBlanc, USSC No. 16-1177, 2017 WL 2507375 (June 12, 2017), reversing LeBlanc v. Mathena, 841 F.3d 256 (4th Cir. 2016); Scotusblog page (including links to briefs and commentary) Although this is a per curiam decision and it’s decided under the rubric of federal habeas review, the upshot of this opinion is that states… Read More

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State v. Eugene B. Santiago, 2016AP1267, District 2, 5/3/17 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including state’s brief) Santiago’s trial lawyer missed a charging error that led to an overstatement of the penalties Santiago faced; this failure doesn’t allow Santiago to withdraw his plea, however, because he fails to sufficiently allege that he would not have… Read More

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McKinley Kelly v. Richard Brown, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals No. 17-1244, 3/16/17 Two judges on the Seventh Circuit apparently think so, based on their rejection of Kelly’s motion to file a second federal habeas petition so he can challenge his sentence under Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012) (mandatory life sentence for juvenile… 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: Did the Supreme Court’s decision in Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86 (2011), silently abrogate the presumption set forth in Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797 (1991)—that a federal court sitting in habeas proceedings should “look through” a summary state court ruling to review the last reasoned decision—as a slim majority of the… Read More

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