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SCOTUS Orders List

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The U. S. Supreme Court released its orders list this morning. No new cases were added for oral argument this term.

In the Ohio capital habeas case of Hudson v. Spisak, No. 06-1535, the Court vacated and remanded to the Sixth Circuit for reconsideration in light of Carey v. Musladin and Schriro v. Landrigan. Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer dissented. The Sixth Circuit decision had granted relief on the penalty, not guilt, because of allegedly ineffective assistance of counsel and jury instructions on mitigation. The Ohio AG's certiorari petition is available here via SCOTUSblog.

In Chester v. Texas, No. 06-1616, the Court declined to review the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on the standards used to determine mental retardation for the purpose of the Court's decision in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), which prohibited execution of the mentally retarded. SCOTUSblog has the petition, opposition, and reply.

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One of the interesting questions raised by Hudson is the "sandbagging" issue. In Hudson, the defense attorney attacked his own client during closing argument. The Sixth Circuit said that the attorney's performance violated the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of effective counsel. Query: what was the prosecution supposed to do, object?

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