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Procedural Default and Martinez v. Ryan (2012) 566 U.S. 1

Does application of the equitable rule the U.S. Supreme Court announced in Martinez v. Ryan (2012) 566 U.S. 1 render 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2) inapplicable to a federal court's merits review of a claim for habeas relief? Held: A federal habeas court generally may consider a state prisoner’s federal claim only if he has first presented that claim to the…

Case: Shinn v. Ramirez (2022) __ U.S. __ [142 S.Ct. 1718]
Case Number: 20-1009
Updated: May 23, 2022
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Federal Habeas Relief When State Court Determined Error Was Harmless

May a federal habeas court grant relief based solely on its conclusion that the Brecht v. Abrahamson (1993) 507 U.S. 619 test is satisfied, as the Sixth Circuit held, or must the court also find that the state court's Chapman v. California (1967) 386 U.S. 18 application was unreasonable under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), as the Second, Third, Seventh, Ninth,…

Case: Brown v. Davenport (2022) __ U.S.__ [142 S.Ct. 1510]
Case Number: 20-826
Updated: April 21, 2022
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Admission of Evidence and the Confrontation Clause

Whether, or under what circumstances, a criminal defendant who opens the door to responsive evidence also forfeits his right to exclude evidence otherwise barred by the Confrontation Clause.  In 2006, a stray 9-millimeter bullet killed a 2-year-old child in the Bronx. The State charged Nicholas Morris with the murder, but after trial commenced, it offered him a plea deal for…

Case: Hemphill v. New York (2022) __ U.S.__ [142 S.Ct. 681]
Case Number: 20-637
Updated: January 20, 2022
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Does Pursuing a Person Suspected of Committing a Misdemeanor Categorically Qualify as an Exigent Circumstance Sufficient for a Warrantless Home Search

Whether the pursuit of a person whom a police officer has probable cause to believe has committed a misdemeanor categorically qualifies as an exigent circumstance sufficient to allow the officer to enter a home without a warrant. Held: The Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires that police officers get a warrant before entering a home without permission. But an officer may make…

Case: Lange v. California (2021) ___U.S.___ [141 S.Ct. 2011]
Case Number: 20-18
Updated: June 23, 2021
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Retroactivity of Ramos v. Louisiana

Whether the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ramos v. Louisiana (2020) 590 U. S. ___ [140 S.Ct. 1390], applies retroactively to cases on federal collateral review. Held: Last Term in Ramos v. Louisiana, 590 U. S. __, 140 S. Ct. 1390, 206 L. Ed. 2d 583 (2020), this Court held that a state jury must be unanimous to convict a criminal defendant…

Case: Edwards v. Vannoy (2021) __ U.S.__ [141 S.Ct. 1547]
Case Number: 19-5807
Updated: May 17, 2021
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Community Caretaking Exception to the Warrant Requirement and the Home

Whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement extends to the home. Held: Decades ago, this Court held that a warrantless search of an impounded vehicle for an unsecured firearm did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U. S. 433, 93 S. Ct. 2523, 37 L. Ed. 2d 706 (1973). In reaching this conclusion,…

Case: Caniglia v. Strom (2021) __ U.S. __ [141 S.Ct. 1596]
Case Number: 20-157
Updated: May 17, 2021
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Whether Eighth Amendment Requires Finding that a Juvenile is Permanently Incorrigible Before Imposing an LWOP Sentence

Whether the Eighth Amendment requires the sentencing authority to make a finding that a juvenile is permanently incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole. Held: "Under Miller v. Alabama, 567 U. S. 460, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 183 L. Ed. 2d 407 (2012), an individual who commits a homicide when he or she is under 18 may be sentenced to life…

Case: Jones v. Mississippi (2021) __ U.S.__ [141 S.Ct. 1307]
Case Number: 18-1259
Updated: April 22, 2021
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Is Unsuccessful Attempt to Detain Suspect by Use of Physical Force a “Seizure”

Police officers shot Petitioner, but she drove away and temporarily eluded capture. In this excessive force suit, the district court granted summary judgment for the officers on the ground that no Fourth Amendment “seizure” occurred. The Tenth Circuit affirmed, reasoning that an officer’s application of physical force is not a seizure if the person upon whom the force is applied…

Case: Torres v. Madrid (2021) __ U.S. __ [141 S.Ct. 989].
Case Number: 19-292
Updated: March 25, 2021
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IAC for Failure to File Notice of Appeal When There is an Appeal Waiver

Does the "presumption of prejudice" recognized in Roe v. Flores-Ortega (2000) 528 U.S. 470, apply where a criminal defendant instructs his trial counsel to file a notice of appeal but trial counsel decides not to do so because the defendant's plea agreement included an appeal waiver? (Garza v. State (Idaho 2017) 405 P.3d 576, cert. granted 6/18/2018 (17-1026).) [Editor's Note: In Roe v. Flores-Ortega, the court…

Case: Garza v. Idaho (2019) __ U.S. __ [139 S.Ct. 738]
Case Number: 17-1026
Updated: February 27, 2019
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Excessive Fines Clause Applicable to States

Whether the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause is incorporated against the States under the Fourteenth Amendment. Held: The Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause is an "incorporated" protection applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause. Timbs pleaded guilty in Indiana state court to drug charges. Indiana sought civil forfeiture of his vehicle, valued at $42,000, which was over…

Case: Timbs v. Indiana (2019) __ U.S. __ [139 S.Ct. 682]
Case Number: 17-1091
Updated: February 20, 2019
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