Supreme Court to Hear Seven New Criminal Cases
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in ten cases today. Among the seven criminal cases, via Scotus Blog:
Among the new criminal cases is a test of the scope of the right to a speedy trial for a poor individual who is being represented by a public defender (Vermont v. Brillon, 08-88), a plea for the Court to clarify how federal appeals courts are to handle prosecutors’ violations of plea bargains when the violation was not challenged at the trial (the Court limited the grant in Puckett v. U.S., 07-9712, to one of two issues raised), and a claim that a voluntary confession made after a suspect’s arrest on federal charges but before he appears before a magistrate must be suppressed when there was a delay before that appearance occurs (Corley v. U.S., 07-10441).
Other criminal law issues raised in newly granted cases test the proof required to show an enterprise under the RICO anti-racketeering law – an issue that arises in civil as well as criminal cases under RICO (Boyle v. U.S., 07-1309), the validity of using a damaging statement by a suspect to challenge the testimony he gives on the stand, if he had not waived his lawyer when he made the statement to police (Kansas v. Ventris, 07-1356), and the obligation of a suspect who has a court-appointed lawyer to take further action to prevent police from questioning him without his lawyer on hand (Montejo v. California, 07-1529).
The final criminal case added by the Court is Rivera v. Illinois (07-9995), contending that a conviction cannot stand if the defense counsel sought to exclude a juror by making a peremptory challenge, but the juror was seated anyway. The appeal noted a split among the Circuit Courts on whether the conviction should be overturned automatically, or whether the error of wrongly seating the juror can be excused as “harmless.
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