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OT 15

Dietz v. Bouldin, USSC No. 15-458, 2016WL3189528 (June 9, 2016), affirming Dietz v. Bouldin, 794 F.3d 1093 (9th Cir. 2015); SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) In a 6-2 decision, SCOTUS holds that a federal district court has limited inherent authority to rescind a jury discharge and to recall the jury for further… Read More

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Ross v. Blake, USSC No. 15-339, 2016 WL 3128839 (June 6, 2016), vacating and remanding Blake v. Ross, 787 F.3d 693 (4th Cir. 2015); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) The Supreme Court unanimously holds there is no unwritten “special circumstances” exception to the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act’s requirement that a prisoner exhaust administrative remedies before… Read More

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Deborah K. Johnson v. Donna Kay Lee, 578 U.S. __ (2016)(per curiam); SCOTUS docket Like Wisconsin, California has a rule that a defendant may not raise a claim for the first time on on state collateral review if he could have raised it on direct appeal. Wisconsin calls it the “Escalona bar.” California calls it… Read More

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Foster v. Chatman, USSC No. 14-8349, 2016 WL 2945233 (May 23, 2016); reversing an unpublished order of the Supreme Court of Georgia; Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) Timothy Foster, who is black, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. Long after his conviction, his attorneys obtained documents from… Read More

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Luna Torres v. Lynch, USSC No. 14-1096, 2016 WL 2903424 (May 19, 2016), affirming Torres v. Holder, 764 F.3d 152 (2nd Cir. 2014); Scotusblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) The definition of “aggravated felony” under federal immigration law, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), has 21 subsections covering dozens of different crimes. Many of the subsections refer to offenses “described in”… Read More

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Betterman v. Montana, USSC No. 14-1457 (May 19, 2016), affirming State v. Betterman, 342 P.3d 971 (Mont. 2015); SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) Brandon Betterman pled guilty to bail jumping, and then spent 14 months in jail before he was finally sentenced. He appealed, contending that the lengthy delay violated his Sixth Amendment… Read More

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Kernan v. Hinojosa, USSC No. 15-833, 2016 WL 2842454 (May 16, 2016) (per curiam), reversing Hinjosa v. Davey, 803 F.3d 412 (9th Cir. 2015); Scotusblog page The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the California courts hadn’t made a determination of Hinojosa’s claim on the merits and therefore applied de novo review rather than AEDPA’s highly deferential standard… Read More

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Ocasio v. United States, USSC No. 14-361, (May 2, 2016), affirming United States v. Ocasio, 750 F.3d 399, (4th Cir. 2014); SCOTUSblog page (includes links to briefs and commentary) That post title is Justice Thomas’s view of the majority’s decision in this case, and he is not the lone dissenter. The Hobbs Act makes it a… Read More

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