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The Lynd Case


More breaking news on the possible first post-Baze execution. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog has this post, with the pleadings, on Georgia murderer William Lynd's certiorari petition and request for stay to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state's opposition notes that the Georgia Supreme Court's decision rests on the independent state ground that Lynd has already had a state habeas petition and is not entitled to another one. Lynd's reply says that the mere fact that the state court requested merits briefing means its decision was on the merits, not procedural default, and the Supreme Court therefore has jurisdiction. Nope. We slew that dragon 17 years ago. See Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 744 (1991).

Update: Lyle reports that the Court denied the stay and certiorari at 7:01 ET.

Update 2: "William Earl Lynd was pronounced dead at 7:51 p.m. EDT, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Mallie McCord told The Associated Press," Shannon McCaffrey reports.


Doesn't the failure to mention controlling precedent violate a Supreme Court rule?

Wasn't Lynd's counsel obligated to cite controlling precedent contrary to his argument that a request for a merits brief equates to a ruling on the merits?

These eve-of-execution briefs are often written hastily, and I am reasonably sure the Court would not be a stickler on that requirement.

That, of course, is the problem. These last-minute stay requests are held back until the last minute. Seems to me that when a claim could have been filed earlier, counsel should not be given a pass on the rules.

Further to my last, I know that some last-minute requests are inevitable, but there seems to be a ton of game-playing. Courts shouldn't tolerate it, and they certainly shouldn't reward it by granting stays.

Pronounced dead at 7:21 pm

Obviously, ignore that last posting. I thought that was a little quick.

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