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June 10, 2005

Two interesting non-Booker items from the circuits

Though the busy beavers at the Eighth Circuit have the Booker pipeline still whooshing along with yet another big round of dispositions on this official opinion page, it otherwise seems to be a relatively quiet day on the Booker front.   Consequently, I have a chance to note two interesting non-Booker circuit dispositions today:

From the Fourth Circuit, Judge Gregory provides an interesting little dissent (available here) from his colleagues' refusal to reconsider en banc the court's earlier rejection of an ineffective assistance claim in the capital habeas case of Walker v. True, No. 4-22 (4th Cir. Mar. 25, 2005) (original panel decision available here).  Here is the opening paragraph of Judge Gregory's dissent from the denial of en banc consideration:

This case, if distilled to its essence, asks this question: what level of legal assistance for defendants in state capital cases is tolerable enough to justify this Court's denial of the protection of the "great writ"?  Because the level of representation at the sentencing phase of Walker's capital case was too low to be tolerable under a fair assessment of his Sixth Amendment rights, I respectfully dissent from the order denying rehearing en banc.

From the Ninth Circuit, today we get Huftile v. Miccio-Fonseca, No. 03-16734 (9th Cir. Jun. 10, 2005) (available here), which addresses the proper procedural means for a defendant to challenge in federal court his civil commitment under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act.  Huftile is factually interesting and legally intricate, and Mike at Crime & Federalism in this post analyzes the decision better than I can on a late Friday afternoon.

June 10, 2005 at 04:33 PM | Permalink


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