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October 8, 2019

Reviewing SCOTUS arguments on insanity defense and non-unanimous juries

As noted in this recent post, yesterday the Supreme Court kicked off its new Term with oral arguments in two very interesting criminal justice cases: Kahler v. Kansas on whether the Constitution permits a state to abolish the insanity defense, and Ramos v. Louisiana on whether the 14th Amendment fully incorporates for states the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of a unanimous jury verdict.  Here are the oral argument transcripts in Kahler and in Ramos.

Based on various reviews of the arguments, it sounds as though the defendant is likely to prevail in Ramos and perhaps not in Kahler.  Here is a round-up of some reviews:

From the AP, "Court seems ready to require unanimous juries as term opens"

From SCOTUSblog, "Argument analysis: Justices open new term with questions and concerns about insanity defense"

From SCOTUSblog, "Argument analysis: Justices weigh constitutionality of non-unanimous jury rule"

From Slate, "The Supreme Court Looks Poised to Outlaw Split Jury Verdicts"

From USA Today, "Supreme Court, trying to remain above the partisan fray, opens 2019 term with a debate about insanity"

October 8, 2019 at 05:38 PM | Permalink


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