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December 10, 2004

More Supreme Court news and speculation

What I thought would be a quiet Friday has turned into a noteworthy day because of Supreme Court announcements.  In addition to the news that more decisions are coming Monday, the Court today granted cert. on four cases, two of which have sentencing stories. 

As always, the SCOTUSblog here has all the goods.  The Court's decision to take Medellin v. Dretke, 04-5928, which concerns the right of foreign nationals on death row in the US to meet with a consular officer from their home country is especially noteworthy.  Because of the intersection of international law and the death penalty — which is raised by not central to the juvenile death penalty case Roper v. Simmons now before the Court (background here) — Medellin will surely get a lot of national and international attention.  Tony Mauro wrote this great Legal Times piece providing a lot of background on the case a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, I have heard from a range of folks about my (wishful thinking?) prediction here that we may get Booker and Fanfan on Monday.  Some have given very good reasons to think the decision is coming Monday, and others have given very good reasons to think we will not see the decision until January. Most compelling was this reaction from a defense attorney (which I hope it is okay to share):

Your ivory tower is showing. I would have liked to see a relatively quick decision in Booker Booker and Fanfan provided it was well thought out. But, a decision on Dec. 13 is going to leave many defendants/prisoners, their families and assorted others in limbo until after Jan. 1 and/or ruin their holidays with bad news.

It could also trigger some Chirstmas madness for some of us defense attorneys [who have briefs due in early January]  Better a decision on Jan. 13 with an opportunity to file a supplemental brief unencumbered by the holidays.

December 10, 2004 at 04:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I am a girlfriend of an inmate sentenced to
70months in Federal prison. I would first
like to say THANK YOU for your efforts in
getting this information out to the friends,
families, and inmates that want to keep up
with the rulings in the Supreme Court. This
was a first for me searching this website,
and I was pleased to see all the info that
you provide. This is his first ever offense
and was shock to see that he was given so
much time to serve. He had never had any
other dealings with the law. You can believe
that we are anxiously awaiting the ruling of
Booker/Fanfan... this could possibly mean he
could come home a lot sooner!!! Thanks Again

Posted by: Kay | Dec 10, 2004 4:42:49 PM

Hmmm, I don't know that the SCT really considers the effect their ruling will have on the holidays for defendants, prisoners, or defense attys. While the December issuance of McConnell is persuasive, I find J. Ginsburg's comments during the oral argument of Whitfield/Hall to be the most telling indicator that we won't see Booker/Fanfan until January. (However, I'm also secretly hoping that my prediction will negate your prediction, thereby freeing the SCT to issue Booker/Fanfan this Monday.)

Posted by: Paul | Dec 10, 2004 5:14:50 PM

Again? Your prediction leads inevitably to further delay, but check out ussc.blogspot.com for a preview of the eventual decision.

Posted by: A. Non Emus | Dec 10, 2004 7:36:10 PM

PLEASE GIVE ME INFORMATION WHERE TO SEARCH FOR THE DECISIONS OF BOOKER AND FANFAN. MY SON IS IN PRISON AND WOULD LIKE THIS INFO AND I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND IT ANYWHERE. THANKS SO MUCH. ANN

Posted by: ANN S. | Jul 29, 2006 4:47:39 AM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB