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May 2, 2011

SCOTUS summary reversal in another Ohio capital habeas case

As effectively reported over at SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court this morning issued "a summary disposition in Bobby v. Mitts, No. 10-1000, [in which a] decision of the Sixth Circuit is reversed; the opinion is a per curiam one, with no separate statements or dissents."  This summary reversal, which concerns a habeas challenge to the penalty-phase instructions in an Ohio capital case, can be accessed here.

A quick glance at this brief PC opinion suggests there is not much of broader interest/concern here, but perhaps readers have another perspective.

May 2, 2011 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"A quick glance at this brief PC opinion suggests there is not much of broader interest/concern here, but perhaps readers have another perspective."

If I were Abu-Jamal, I wouldn't be too thrilled with the way this opinion reads.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 2, 2011 11:15:19 AM

Another reversal for Merritt and Martin. I guess the 6th Circuit didn't waste the time hearing this enbanc
figuring SCOTUS would reverse it. I wonder how much court time Reinhardt, and the 2 above take up of SCOTUS' time. Of course, all 3 of them are Carter appointees still trying to create their own law 30+ years later.

Posted by: DaveP | May 2, 2011 11:48:49 AM

If the sixth keeps going contrary to SCOTUS precedent only to be reversed (like in Spizak and Abu Jamal) would SCOTUS theoretically be able to bypass them completely for these cases?

Posted by: MikeinCT | May 2, 2011 12:06:05 PM

I didn't think it was very PC to support the death penalty.

Posted by: Chris | May 2, 2011 12:08:07 PM

The opinion is of broader interest insofar as it continues to demonstrate that it is willing to grant summary decisions in habeas cases to demonstrate as part of its exercise of supervisory authority over willful appellate panels.

@Dave P: IIRC, Judge Sutton, joined by Judge Kethledge, issued an odd concurrence in denial of rehearing en banc in which he laid out the reasons why the panel's opinion made no sense but went on to say, "but we can't rehear 'em all." I suppose he was thinking "and the Supreme Court will end up summarily reversing anyway, because it's really the Justices at whom the panel is thumbing their noses." The interesting thing is that he labeled it a concurring opinion rather than a dissent or the more neutral-sounding "respecting denial of rehearing en banc."

Posted by: guest | May 2, 2011 12:53:20 PM

"The opinion is of broader interest insofar as it continues to demonstrate that it is willing to grant summary decisions in habeas cases to demonstrate as part of its exercise of supervisory authority over willful appellate panels."

Whoops. In English, that's:

"The opinion is of broader interest insofar as it continues to demonstrate that the Supreme Court is willing to issue summary decisions in habeas cases to demonstrate that it will exercise supervisory authority over willful appellate panels."

Posted by: guest | May 2, 2011 12:55:37 PM

When is Bill going to take advantage of the bin Laden demise to rail about those opposed to US judicial system killings being unpatriotic?

Time to get that automatic tranny in gear, guy.

Posted by: Anonomonopoeia | May 2, 2011 2:10:34 PM

guest
I remember reading that submission from Sutton and Kethledge thinking it unusual also. It should have been "Dissenting from the denial of rehearing enbanc."

Posted by: DaveP | May 2, 2011 2:16:46 PM

guest --

"The opinion is of broader interest insofar as it continues to demonstrate that it is willing to grant summary decisions in habeas cases to demonstrate as part of its exercise of supervisory authority over willful appellate panels."

Exactly, which is why I said that if I were Abu-Jamal, I wouldn't be too happy today.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 2, 2011 3:08:18 PM

Anonomonopoeia --

"When is Bill going to take advantage of the bin Laden demise to rail about those opposed to US judicial system killings being unpatriotic?"

Since you don't say who you are and I don't know independently, I have no way of assessing your patriotism, nor have I any interest in doing so, since the subject is not commenters but issues -- such as the propriety of the death penalty for terrorist mass murder.

So let me ask your opinion.

Do you think the USA was justified in killing Osama even though it was much less than clear that he had a continuing, significant role in al Qaeda operations, and even though there had been nothing approaching a judicial determination of guilt?

Do you think that, if Osama had been taken alive and found guilty of murder -- as a principal or a conspirator -- the jury should have been altogether denied the opportunity to impose the death penalty?

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 2, 2011 6:26:46 PM

DaveP, I remember reading Sutton's opinion and thinking "Wow, how arrogant is the judiciary?" Sutton came out and said--geez, our collegiality is more important than doing justice and that we're going to tolerate lawless opinions because we want to get along. Imagine being on the outside looking in and reading such nonsense.

By the way, if and when SCOTUS tosses the 3d Circuit in Abu-Jamal's case, it goes all the way back down to the District Judge who has to rule on three more issues. That's another 10 years. This is ridiculous. And it needs to stop. Ms. Faulkner is such an admirable woman--how the federal courts see clear to inflict such cruelty on her is beyond me.

Posted by: federalist | May 3, 2011 5:53:03 AM

federalist
the 6th definitely handles cases different from the 9th. A good number of capital cases go enbanc and when they don't, the dissenting judges issue a "dissent from denial of rehearing enbanc". Apparently, the 6th doesn't have time for this.
I read that somewhere what you said about Abu-Jamal's issues that didn't get disposed of in district court. Why? He ruled on the Mills issue and Batson. I will read his opinion again. Piecemeal litigation.

Posted by: DaveP | May 3, 2011 6:30:24 AM

After watching the 6th and 9th get reversed like clockwork, it is interesting to see the mentality of certain judges. They have the nerve to find an attorney "Ineffective." Then, what are they when SCOTUS has to reverse them over and over again?

Posted by: DaveP | May 3, 2011 9:13:22 AM

B'lotis

Congratulations on driving in reverse.

Posted by: Anonomonopoeia | May 3, 2011 10:21:58 AM

Anonomonopoeia --

"Congratulations on driving in reverse."

Congratulations on this significant improvement in the refinement of your reasoning.

You have yet to achieve the "Did you forget your meds?" level of claudio, but I have faith you'll get there soon.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 4, 2011 6:52:53 AM

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