News 2005

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  • Corporate and Computer Crime
  • Criminal Procedure Rules
  • Death Penalty
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Sentencing and Corrections
  • Victims

Archived News




December 5 : September 7

December 5, 2005

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.]

September 7, 2005

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 bombing.
  • 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 story.
  • 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 without bail.
  • 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/ rule.
  • 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.

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