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December 13, 2007

Notable criminal cases on the SCOTUS watch list

In this post, the fine folks at SCOTUSblog details "petitions to watch" at the Justices' private conference scheduled for January 4, 2008.   Sentencing fans should find these cases from the watch list notable:

Docket: 07-61
Case name: Mathias v. United States
Issue: Whether an escape conviction following a failure to return to a work release program is a violent felony for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act. (Note: similar issues are presented in No. 06-10751, Golden v. United States, and No. 06-11206, Chambers v. United States.)

Docket: 07-343
Case name: Kennedy v. Louisiana
Issue: Whether the Eighth Amendment bar on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits capital punishment for the crime of child rape.

Docket: 07-452
Case name: Schriro v. Lambright
Issue: Whether, under Tennard v. Dretke (2001), a court may consider the lack of any causal connection between potential mitigating evidence and the crime in determining whether the failure to introduce the evidence prejudiced the defendant.

Docket: 07-478
Case name: Hartmann v. Burris
Issue: Whether seeking discretionary state court review of a criminal conviction tolls the one year filing requirement under AEDPA.

Of course, Kennedy is the case of this bunch that garners the most attention (even though all of the others are in many ways far more consequential to the day-to-day administration of justice).

Notably, the Court's decision on these and other petitions could be announced on January 7, 2008, with is the same day the Baze lethal injection case is to be argued.  (This is also the date of a notable college football game for those of you scoring at home.)

December 13, 2007 at 01:26 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Docket No. 07-6538. Ashraf v. US
I am hoping to see cert granted in the Nabeel Ashraf v. United States case, currently pending. The court ordered (--not "invited") the US to file a response. It really is a very good petition, but the SCt lotto is rarely won.
The URL to the 07-6538: http://search.access.gpo.gov/supreme-court/SearchRight.asp?ct=Supreme-Court-Dockets&q1=nabeel&x=45&y=20

Posted by: Ronald Humphreys | Dec 14, 2007 10:54:00 AM

Kennedy is the only constitutional as opposed to statutory case of the lot, and is likely to have a much wider impact of legislation in the states than any of the others. The prospective impact is huge, even though few people currently face this sentence.

Federal statute interpretation can be changed, and federal statutes impact only a minority of criminal defendants.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Dec 14, 2007 5:07:03 PM

I suspect the Court will use the Kennedy case to outlaw executions for the crime of rape, with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alto dissenting!

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/scotus-to-decide-if-states-can-execute.html#links

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | Jan 5, 2008 1:42:04 AM

I suspect the Court will use the Kennedy case to outlaw executions for the crime of rape, with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alto dissenting!

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/scotus-to-decide-if-states-can-execute.html#links

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | Jan 5, 2008 1:42:53 AM

I suspect the Court will use the Kennedy case to outlaw executions for the crime of rape, with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alto dissenting!

http://osi-speaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/scotus-to-decide-if-states-can-execute.html#links

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | Jan 5, 2008 1:43:08 AM

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