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OT 10

Willie Gene Davis v. U.S., USSC No. 09-11328, 6/16/11 … The question here is whether to apply this sanction when the police conduct a search in compliance with binding precedent that is later overruled. Because suppression would do nothing to deter police misconduct in these circumstances, and because it would come at a high cost to… Read More

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Confrontation – Lab Report Certification

Donald Bullcoming v. New Mexico, USSC No. 09-10876, 6/23/11 The question presented is whether the Confrontation Clause permits the prosecution to introduce a forensic laboratory report containing a testimonial certification—made for the purpose of proving a particular fact—through the in-court testimony of a scientist who did not sign the certification or perform or observe the… Read More

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Michael D. Turner v. Rogers, USSC No. 10-10, 6/20/11 Appellate Procedure – Mootness Doctrine Turner’s appeal – he challenges denial of appointed counsel in a civil contempt proceeding but has fully served the resultant 12-month sentence –  isn’t moot: The short, conclusive answer to respondents’ mootness claim, however, is that this case is not moot… Read More

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J.D.B. v. North Carolina, USSC No. 09-11101, 6/16/11, reversing 363 N. C. 664, 686 S. E. 2d 135 This case presents the question whether the age of a child subjected to police questioning is relevant to the custody analysis of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436 (1966) . It is beyond dispute that children will often feel bound to submit… Read More

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Marcus Sykes v. U.S., USSC No. 09-11311, 6/9/11 It is a federal crime for a convicted felon to be in unlawful possession of a firearm. 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(1). The ordinary maximum sentence for that crime is 10 years of imprisonment. §924(a)(2). If, however, when the unlawful possession occurred, the felon had three previous convictions for… Read More

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McNeil v. U.S., USSC No. 10-5258, 6/6/11 Under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), a prior state drug-trafficking conviction is for a “serious drug offense” if “a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more is prescribed by law” for the offense. 18 U. S. C. §924(e)(2)(A)(ii). The question in this case concerns how… Read More

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Brown v. Plata, USSC No. 09-1233, 5/23/11 Remedial injunction, issued by a federal court pursuant to the PLRA, ordering California to reduce its prison population on account of deficiencies in medical care caused by overcrowding, upheld. Lengthy, 5-4 opinion (91 pp. pdf file) on something (“conditions of confinement”) outside the boundaries of SPD representation: why… Read More

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Kentucky v. Hollis Deshaun King, USSC No. 09-1272, 5/16/11, reversing, King v. Commonwealth, 302 S.W.3d 649 (2010) The exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement (here, imminent destruction of evidence) isn’t circumscribed by whether the exigency was “police-created.” It is well established that “exigent circumstances,” including the need to prevent the destruction of evidence, permit… Read More

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