Allegations of racial bias in a death penalty trial


RELIST WATCH
sketch of numerous cameras lined up outside the supreme court

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming convention. A brief clarification of relists is offered right here.

We had one other week of full turnover as Monday’s order checklist disposed of all the brand new relists mentioned in our final installment. In Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cochran, the justices will resolve whether or not federal district courts have the facility to contemplate claims difficult the constitutionality of the fee’s administrative regulation proceedings. The case is sufficiently just like Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission (which includes basically the identical challenge for that company’s administrative course of) that the court docket appears prone to hear each collectively subsequent fall. That will reunite former Solicitor General Paul Clement (Axon’s lawyer) along with his former #2 Greg Garre (Cochran’s lawyer), who succeeded him in that put up.

The justices additionally granted overview in Jones v. Hendrix, in which they are going to take into account whether or not district courts have authority to overview a declare that a federal prisoner’s sentence is invalid, when circuit precedent foreclosed the declare on the time of the prisoner’s prior habeas corpus movement, however an intervening Supreme Court precedent modified the development of the statute and held that new interpretation applies retroactively. The court docket will maintain the opposite case elevating that query, Ham v. Breckon, pending the result in Jones.

This week we’ve got just one new relist: Thomas v. Lumpkin, involving an African American prisoner on death row for killing his estranged spouse, who was white, and their youngsters. Although the court docket thought-about the case as a group for the primary time eventually Thursday’s convention, it seems to have had the eye of at the very least one of the justices for fairly a whereas, because the court docket has rescheduled it a dozen occasions since January.

Petitioner Andre Thomas contends he was denied his constitutional proper to be tried by an neutral jury as a result of three jurors at his trial expressed opposition to individuals of completely different races marrying and having youngsters, writing on their jury-selection questionnaires that such relationships are “towards God’s will,” that folks ought to “stick with [their] Blood Line,” and that the kids of interracial relationships are denied “a particular race to belong to.” Those jurors, Thomas says, by no means disclaimed these views or mentioned they might set them apart in contemplating his case. Thomas additionally argues that he was denied his constitutional proper to the efficient help of counsel as a result of his lawyer didn’t object to, or search to strike, any of these jurors, and did not ask two of them a single query about their bias.

The state of Texas contends the state court docket selections upholding Thomas’ conviction and sentence weren’t objectively unreasonable as a result of the jurors agreed to resolve the case primarily based on the proof introduced and comply with the regulation as instructed, and the challenged jurors made different statements suggesting they is likely to be favorable to the protection (for instance, saying it might be improper to execute the mentally unwell, and saying that they admired protection counsel). The state argues that Thomas’ protection counsel made a strategic choice to not pursue the jurors’ statements in gentle of these countervailing components.

This case is sufficiently fact-bound that I don’t anticipate the court docket to grant plenary overview and set the case for argument. It appears likelier we’ll get some variety of opinion from the court docket, both a abstract reversal or an opinion respecting denial.

That’s all for this week. Until subsequent time, keep protected!

New Relist

Thomas v. Lumpkin, 21-444
Issues: (1) Whether, beneath the Supreme Court’s clearly established precedent, Andre Thomas—an African American man who, throughout a schizophrenic episode, killed his estranged white spouse, their son, and her daughter— was denied his constitutional proper to be tried by an neutral jury, when three jurors at Thomas’s capital trial expressed opposition to individuals of completely different races marrying and having youngsters—writing on their voir dire questionnaires that such relationships are “towards God’s will,” that we must always “stick with our Blood Line,” and that the kids of interracial relationships are denied “a particular race to belong to”—and when the jurors by no means disclaimed these views or mentioned they might set them apart to contemplate Thomas’s psychological sickness and make the individualized sentencing judgment required by the Constitution; and (2) whether or not Thomas was denied his constitutional proper to the efficient help of counsel, when protection counsel didn’t object to, or search to strike, any of these three jurors, and did not ask two of them a single query about their bias.
(rescheduled earlier than the Jan. 7, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 4, March 18, March 25, April 1, April 14, April 22 and April 29 conferences; relisted after the May 12 convention)

Returning Relists

Andrus v. Texas, 21-6001
Issues: (1) Whether, on remand, the Texas court docket rejected the Supreme Court’s conclusions in Andrus v. Texas, which had been amply supported by the habeas and trial information, and whether or not the Texas court docket disregarded the Supreme Court’s categorical steering for conducting a prejudice evaluation pursuant to Strickland v. Washington; and (2) whether or not the Texas court docket’s failure to stick to the Supreme Court’s choice conflicts with our constitutional system of vertical stare decisis and creates widespread confusion concerning the right authorized normal that courts should use in assessing whether or not the Sixth Amendment proper to efficient help of counsel is violated in death-penalty circumstances.
(rescheduled earlier than the Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 4, and March 18 conferences; relisted after the March 25, April 1, April 14, April 22, April 29 and May 12 conferences)

Cope v. Cogdill, 21-783
Issues: (1) Whether jail officers who’re subjectively conscious of a substantial danger that a pretrial detainee will try suicide and reply to the hurt unreasonably could also be held liable when their violation was apparent — because the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the first, 4th, seventh, eighth, ninth, and eleventh Circuits have held — or whether or not jail officers who reply unreasonably to the apparent danger ought to be granted certified immunity in the absence of a case involving the identical details — because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fifth Circuit held beneath; (2) whether or not the target normal the Supreme Court introduced in Kingsley v. Hendrickson applies to inadequate-care claims introduced by pretrial detainees — because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd, sixth, seventh, and ninth Circuits have held — or whether or not the subjective normal that applies to convicted prisoners additionally applies to pretrial detainees — because the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the eighth, tenth, and eleventh Circuits have held and because the fifth Circuit held beneath; and (3) whether or not the judge-made certified immunity doctrine requires reform.
(relisted after the April 1, April 14, April 22, April 29 and May 12 conferences; file requested and obtained after the April 22 convention)

Grzegorczyk v. United States, 21-5967
Issue: Whether Zenon Grzegorczyk is entitled to aid on his declare that knowingly utilizing a facility of interstate commerce with intent that a homicide be dedicated, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a), shouldn’t be a crime of violence beneath 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
(relisted after the April 14, April 22, April 29 and May 12 conferences)


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