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October 4, 2021

SCOTUS releases first big order list of October Term 2021 ... with little of particular sentencing note

It is the first Monday in October, which means SCOTUS gets its first big day of the new Term started with this big order list full of a whole lot of denials of certiorari in cases that stacked up through the summer.  As noted in this prior post, the Justices released a short order last week in which it granted cert in a handful of new cases (including a crack resentencing case).  So, the new order list is just a few GVRs, more cert denials than I can count, and also a few statements by Justices Breyer and Sotomayor concerning a few criminal case cert denials.

Notably, especially because SCOTUS is hearing another ACCA case this morning, the case prompting the most GVRs on this new SCOTUS order list is the Borden ACCA case from last term (basics here).  In addition, one of the statements from Justice Sotomayor is in an ACCA case from the Sixth Circuit.  The Armed Career Criminal Act is clearly that confusing federal law that is the ugly jurisprudential gift that keeps on giving.

In this post last week, I flagged some notable sentencing issues on SCOTUSblog's "Petitions to Watch."  It appears that cert was denied in roughly half of the cases listed in that prior post, but the other cases do not appeal to be mentioned on this first order list.  If those other cases have been relisted for more consideration by the Justices, that bodes well for a few more notable sentencing cases being added to the SCOTUS docket this Term.  As always, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Over at Crime & Consequences, Kent Scheidegger has a brief criminal-justice review of the order list today titled "The Long List from the Long Conference"

October 4, 2021 at 09:53 AM | Permalink


Utterly OT, but, over at Letters Blogatory, I saw that Steven Donziger just got 6 months of jail on his misdemeanor contempt conviction. On that blog, I noted the apparent irony of the 1/6 Capitol assaulters getting far less, or even no, jail time, for their misdemeanors. I'm not trying to make any bigger point than just highlighting the irony. And maybe there's fodder for a post by this blog to explore what happened with Donziger. But that's about it.

Posted by: kotodama | Oct 4, 2021 10:36:46 AM

Breyer flagged his death penalty concerns including how cases linger on for decades. The person just executed [with only a "no problem" final order ... be nice if Breyer flagged it then before someone actually was executed] was on death row for three decades too.

For those who aren't aware, there is a live audio link driectly on the Supreme Court website now. Before, you had to go to the CSPAN website, which you still can.

Posted by: Joe | Oct 4, 2021 10:37:12 AM

Buried in the order list, without a peep from any of the justices was the habeas appeal from Carman Deck which involves a 1996 murder. The first death sentence aside based on ineffective assistance of counsel on the penalty phase instructions. The second death sentence was set aside by the U.S. Supreme Court because Deck had visible shackles during his penalty retrial.

The District Court granted habeas relief on a defaulted claim that delay between his original conviction and ultimate sentencing violated Deck's due process right to a prompt sentencing. The Eighth Circuit reversed that relief, and apparently none of the justice found Deck's theory even worth a comment.

Posted by: tmm | Oct 4, 2021 3:03:07 PM

You can say I am a nonconvential student of law. I assisted pro se liganants in filing 2255 Motions to vacate marijuana conviction. Being incarcerated is a substantial denial of a constitution right of liberty.

There were two writs extraordinary writs of Habeas corpus filed and went to conference 09/27/21. 21-54 and 21-334. They were both denied but were not listed in the 10/4/21 list. Can you tell me why not all number cases are not listed? Case numbers are missing from the list. Why is that?

Posted by: Michael J Dee | Oct 5, 2021 9:45:40 AM

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