December 5 : September 7
The following criminal cases will be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in its December session. The Questions Presented are as stated by the petitioner, except as noted
- Argument Monday, December 5, 2005:
04-52 RICE, ET AL. V. COLLINS
DECISION BELOW: 348 F.3D 1082 (9TH CIR. 2003)
Does 28 U.S.C. ß 2254 allow a federal habeas corpus court to reject
the presumption of correctness for state fact finding, and condemn
a state-court adjudication as an unreasonable determination of
the facts, where a rational fact finder could have determined
the facts as did the state court?
[Note: The fact in question is the trial judge's determination
of no racial bias on a Batson motion.]
- Arguments Wednesday, December 7, 2005:
04-928 OREGON V. GUZEK
DECISION BELOW: 86 P.3d 1106 (OR 2004)
Does a capital defendant have a right under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution to offer evidence
and argument in support of a residual-doubt claim - that is,
that the jury in a penalty-phase proceeding should consider
doubt about the defendant's guilt in deciding whether to impose
the death penalty?
04-1170 KANSAS V. MARSH
DECISION BELOW: 102 P.3d 445 (Kan. 2004)
1. Does it violate the Constitution for a state capital sentencing
statute to provide for the imposition of the death penalty when
the sentencing jury determines that the mitigating and aggravating
evidence is in equipoise?
2. Does this Court have jurisdiction to review the judgment
of the Kansas Supreme Court under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1257, as construed
by Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)?
3. Was the Kansas Supreme Court's judgment adequately supported
by a ground independent of federal law?
[Note: Questions 2 and 3 were added by the Court concurrently
with granting certiorari.]
Here is a list of some of the important criminal law decisions
authored by the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist:
- Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1 (2003):
Upholding Meganís Law, allowing public access via the Internet to
information on registered sex offenders. The U. S. Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit had declared Meganís Law unconstitutional.
- United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001): Upholding searches
of convicted criminals on probation, based on reasonable suspicion they
are involved in new criminal activity. Knights was engaged in sabotaging
public utility facilities, and the police discovered bomb-making
materials in a search conducted pursuant to his conditions of probation.
The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had suppressed the
materials as evidence.
- Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651 (1996): Upholding limits on
repeated appeals enacted by Congress in the wake of the Oklahoma City
- Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62 (1991): Upholding the use in
evidence of a pattern of prior injuries to an abused child, known as
Battered Child Syndrome, to show that the child was the victim of
repeated abuse, not an accident. The U. S. Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit had overturned the conviction of a man who beat to death
his 6-month-old daughter.
- Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808 (1991): Upholding the use of
victim impact testimony in the penalty phase of capital cases,
overruling a 1987 decision. From 1987 to 1991, the convicted murderer
had a constitutional right to tell his own story, while the victimís
family was banned from explaining the full impact of the crime.
- Michigan v. Harvey, 494 U.S. 344 (1990): Allowing a voluntary
statement made without a lawyer present to be used to refute the
testimony of a defendant who later takes the stand and tells a different
- United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987): Upholding the Bail
Reform Act of 1984, allowing bail to be denied to particularly dangerous
defendants. The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had
declared the Act unconstitutional in the case of a Mafia boss detained
- New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649 (1984): Allowing police to
question an arrested suspect to avert an imminent danger to public
safety (in this case, a loose, loaded gun) notwithstanding the /Miranda/
- California v. Ramos, 463 U.S. 992 (1982): Upholding Californiaís
death penalty law, after the California Supreme Court had declared a
part of it unconstitutional.