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June 28, 2006

SCOTUS finishes half of its remaining criminal docket

As reported here at SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court today did not hand down its opinions in Hamdan (on war crime tribunals) or Clark (on the insanity defense), but it did issue opinions in Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon and Beard v. Banks.  Here are the initial summaries provided by Lyle Denniston:

In a ruling written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the Court concluded that states may bar foreign nationals from raising the issue of their treaty rights to talk with a consular officer if they did not raise that issue at trial.  The Court majority said that the outcome was dictated by the Court's 1998 summary decision in Breard v. Greene.

In a 5-3 ruling, the Court decided that prison officials may deny newspapers, magazines and photographs to their most dangerous inmates.  The plurality opinion by Justice Stephen G. Breyer upheld such a ban. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., took no part. He had dissented when the Third Circuit struck down the ban.

UPDATE:  Unsurprisingly, both Sanchez-Llamas (available here) and Banks (available here) are long and full of stuff that likely will only interest sentencing fans with particular interests in international law or prison regulations.  Based on a quick scan, I found Justice Thomas' separate opinion in Banks perhaps the most intriguing.

June 28, 2006 at 10:27 AM | Permalink


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The usually reliable SCOTUSblog slipped a bit here. The procedural default ruling was only for the companion case of Bustillo v. Johnson. In Sanchez-Llamas, the Court decided on the merits that suppression of the post-arrest statement was not required.

More comment here: http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/2006/06/vienna_convention_cases.html

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jun 28, 2006 3:14:49 PM

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