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News Scan


Gitmo: Marcia Coyle of National Law Journal previews tomorrow's argument in Boumediene v. Bush, the case on a constitutional right to habeas review for the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. CJLF's brief is here. The Federalist Society has an online debate here.

Felony murder rule: Adam Liptak has this article on the controversial rule in the New York Times. The article profiles a case from Florida, and the misleading headline says that Ryan Holle is doing life merely for loaning his car. If the jury had believed that, or even had a reasonable doubt, he would not have been convicted of a crime at all. To find him guilty, they had to find he was a party to the underlying robbery. In this case, actual violence was part of the robbery plan from the beginning.

The Kevin Cooper case has finally been decided by the Ninth Circuit panel. This is the case where the convicted murderer's lawyers keep asking for tests, insisting each time that the test will show their client's innocence, and each time the test reinforces the finding of guilt. Let's see how long they take deciding the rehearing en banc petition. Standard practice in the Ninth is that when the state loses any rehearing petition is disposed of quickly, but when the petitioner loses it takes many months, sometimes years.


McKeown's concurrence is an embarassment. Cooper is indisputably guilty of this horrible crime. That a federal appeals court judge is willing to drink the Kool-Aid offered up by his counsel and supporters is contemptible. The federal courts owe an apology to the victims' family here. This case dragged out far too long.

It took almost a year for a decision by the 3 judge panel, so taking into consideration how long the 9th takes to dispose of cases I would estimate approx. 6 months if it is denied. They might surprise us and enbanc it. They love doing that.

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