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OT 10

Bobby v. Harry Mitts, USSC No. 10-1000, 5/2/11 (per curiam) The death penalty may not be imposed when the jury isn’t permitted to consider a verdict of guilt on a lesser included, non-capital offense supported by the evidence, Beck v. Alabama, 447 U.S. 625 (1980). As the Court now notes: such a scheme intolerably enhances the… Read More

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Cullen v. Scott Lynn Pinholster, USSC No. 09-1088, 4/4/11 We first consider the scope of the record for a §2254(d)(1) inquiry. The State argues that review is limited to the record that was before the state court that adjudicated the claim on the merits. Pinholster contends that evidence presented to the federal habeas court may… Read More

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Felkner v. Steven Frank Jackson, USSC No. 10-797, 3/31/11 On habeas review under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the court of appeals failed to give sufficient deference to the state court determination that the prosecutor had race-neutral reasons for striking 2 of 3 black prospective jurors. The prosecutor struck one juror because she had an MSW, and… Read More

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Henry W. Skinner v. Switzer, USSC No. 09-9000, 3/7/11 A convicted state prisoner may utilize 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to seek DNA testing of crime-scene evidence. When may a state prisoner, complaining of unconstitutional state action, pursue a civil rights claim under §1983, and when is habeas corpus the prisoner’s sole remedy? … We summarized… Read More

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Wall v. Kahlil Kholi, USSC No. 09-868, 3/7/11 Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), “a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim” tolls the 1-year limitation period for filing a federal habeas petition. 28 U. S. C. §2244(d)(2). The question in… Read More

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Pepper v. U.S., USSC No. 09-6822, 3/2/11 In light of the federal sentencing framework described above, we think it clear that when a defendant’s sentence has been set aside on appeal and his case remanded for resentencing, a district court may consider evidence of a defendant’s rehabilitation since his prior sentencing and that such evidence… Read More

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FCC v. AT&T, USSC No. 09-1279, 3/1/11 The “personal privacy” exemption in the federal Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply to corporations, though they are considered “persons” under the Act. … Adjectives typically reflect the meaning of corresponding nouns, but not always. Sometimes they acquire distinct meanings of their own. The noun “crab” refers variously… Read More

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Michigan v. Bryant, USSC No. 09-150 At respondent Richard Bryant’s trial, the court admitted statements that the victim, Anthony Covington, made to police officers who discovered him mortally wounded in a gas station parking lot. … We hold that the circumstances of the interaction between Covington and the police objectively indicate that the “primary purpose of… Read More

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