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June 30, 2008

Great SCOTUSblog review of criminal side of SCOTUS docket

Writing at SCOTUSblog, Kristina Moore has this great post reviewing the Supreme Court's criminal justice work in the term just finished.  Here is how it starts:

While the Supreme Court’s opinions this Term produced sweeping rulings on the death penalty and on the rights of enemy combatants, the criminal law docket in OT07 was all about the details. Of the 24 cases on criminal law, 12 involved sentencing guidelines or felony definitions, and seven cases death with strictly procedural issues.

Just over half of the decisions went in favor of criminal rights. Big wins for the accused included the ability of federal judges to depart from the federal sentencing guidelines in crack cocaine cases (Kimbrough and Gall), and of state courts to retroactively apply Supreme Court decisions to criminals seeking post-conviction relief even where federal judges cannot (Danforth).  The Court gave wins to both prosecutors and defense attorneys.  While the Court ruled Kentucky’s protocol for lethal injections constitutionally sound (Baze), it barred states from applying the death penalty to convicted child rapists (Kennedy).

Go read the whole thing (as well as my related recent post below):

June 30, 2008 at 04:44 PM | Permalink


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