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September 13, 2006

Early Comer commentary

As expected, the blogosphere is already talking about the remarkable split Ninth Circuit panel ruling today in Comer (basics here).  DotD has this post, C & C has this post, and How Appealing has this great post.  In addition to its great title, How Appealing sets of these thought-provoking questions about the Ninth Circuit's work:

If the Eighth Amendment prohibits a state death row inmate from exercising his right to knowingly and voluntarily withdraw a federal habeas challenge to a death sentence, does a federal court within the Ninth Circuit have an affirmative obligation when reviewing a habeas challenge to a death sentence to consider all possible arguments for setting aside the sentence, whether or not raised by the inmate? If a state death row inmate becomes a death penalty volunteer before ever filing any federal habeas corpus action -- and as a result no federal habeas corpus action is filed by the inmate -- must the federal courts nevertheless affirmatively determine that no Eighth Amendment violation exists before the state may carry out the death sentence? And, why should this limitation on the right of a potentially-prevailing litigant's ability to withdraw a federal court claim be limited to death row inmates?

September 13, 2006 at 05:24 PM | Permalink


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