Monday, June 13, 2005
In Miller-El v. Dretke, No. 03-9659, the court held that a condemned Texas prisoner is entitled to prevail on his claim that the prosecutors violated Batson v. Kentucky in using peremptory strikes to remove 10 of 11 qualified black prospective jurors from his jury. Decision here.
In Wilkinson v. Austin , No. 04-495, the court decided that Ohio prisoners have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in avoiding assignment to a "supermax" maximum-security prison, and that the state's procedures used for classifying prisoners for supermax placement, which include a three-tier review process giving the inmate notice and opportunity for rebuttal at a hearing, comply with the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Decision here.
In Bradshaw v. Stumpf, No. 04-637, the court held that the Sixth Circuit erred in holding that a capital defendant's guilty plea to aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent, because the state, in a later trial of an accomplice, pursued a theory of the case inconsistent with the theory it had advanced in the defendant's case, because the identity of the triggerman was not material to the defendant's conviction. Decision here.
In Johnson v. California, No. 04-6964, the court decided that a party objecting to the exercise of a peremptory challenge to a prospective juror need not show that it is more likely than not that the challenge, if unexplained, was based on impermissible group bias. Decision here. [Mark Godsey]