Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Crime and Consequences covers them here. One criminal case was sent back for reconsideration in light of last term's Melendez-Diaz case on confrontation of witnesses. Justice Stevens, joined by Justice Scalia, dissented from the Court's decision not to
clarify a statute of limitations question in a 60s-era civil rights case, United States v. Seale. Under the Lindbergh Law in effect at the time of the crime, kidnapping in certain circumstances was a federal capital offense, and there was no statute of limitations (and still is not) on capital offenses. A later amendment removed the death penalty. Did that amendment impose the regular statute of limitations by implication, or do alleged perpetrators of crimes committed when they were capital remain subject to prosecution for life?
The dissent can be found at the end of the orders list here.