Tuesday, March 22, 2005
The Supreme Court decided two cases today. In Muehler v. Menas, the Court held that it did not violate the Fourth Amendment for occupants of a house being searched to be handcuffed for two to three hours. The Court noted that the search was for weapons and involved allegations of gang membership, but remanded for consideration of the question whether the detention continued beyond the time necessary to complete the search. Four justices concurred in the judgment but would have left open the possibility that the handcuffing was unreasonable under the circumstances.
In Brown v. Payton, the Court held that a capital jury had been given sufficient opportunity to consider the defendant's religious conversion and reversed the grant of a new sentencing hearing. Both cases were from the Ninth Circuit. [Jack Chin]