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Marcus A. Wellons v. Hall, USSC No. 09–5731, 1/19/10

US Supreme Court decision

Habeas – Discovery
Hall entitled to discovery and evidentiary hearing as to what prompted jury members to give “the trial judge chocolate shaped as male genitalia and the bailiff chocolate shaped as female breasts.”

From beginning to end, judicial proceedings conducted for the purpose of deciding whether a defendant shall be put to death must be conducted with dignity and respect. The disturbing facts of this case raise serious questions concerning the conduct of the trial, and this petition raises a serious question about whether the Court of Appeals carefully reviewed those facts before addressing petitioner’s constitutional claims. We know that the Court of Appeals committed the same procedural error that we corrected in Cone v. Bell , 556 U. S. ___, ___ (2009) (slip op., at 17–18). We do not know how the court would have ruled if it had the benefit of our decision in that case.

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