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Governor Bill Richardson Vetoes Teen Sentencing Bill:  Doug Berman posts a link at Sentencing Law and Policy to a Silver City Sun-News article reporting on the New Mexico Governor's decision to veto a teen sentencing bill.  The bill, Senate Bill 7, would have allowed judges more discretion than they already have when sentencing convicted first-degree murderers, aged 15-17, as juveniles.  Under the bill, these offenders could be sentenced to less than the mandatory term for an adult.  When he vetoed the bill, Richardson stated, "signature of Senate Bill 7 would, in essence, allow courts to treat serious youthful offenders who commit the most heinous of crimes in the same manner as youthful offenders who commit minor offenses; hence, any deterrence that the enhanced penalty might cause would be taken away." 

Defining Rights of Terrorist Suspects Held Abroad:  Hat tip to Howard Bashman at How Appealing for the link to today's LA Times editorial calling for a concrete articulation of the rights of suspected terrorists held at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.  The editorial follows last week's decision by U.S. District Judge Bates that three suspected terrorists held at Bagram could challenge their detentions in U.S. courts.  Last week's decision goes beyond what the U.S. Supreme Court stated in Boumediene v. Bush.  To reach his conclusion Judge Bates likened Bagram to Guantanamo Bay, and said that the three men held at the base were "virtually identical" to Guantanamo detainees because they're foreign nationals who have been transported to a foreign country, imprisoned indefinitely and denied a fair chance to dispute their designation as enemy combatants.  The editorial asks the Obama administration to "quickly" institute new procedures defining the rights of the detainees held at Bagram.

"Your dishonor":  At Judging Crimes, Joel Jacobsen comments on the Supreme Court's recent decision, and rejection of the Ninth Circuit's decision, in Knowles v. Mirzayance.  Mirzayance addressed sufficiency of counsel during conviction and sentencing of a first-degree murderer.  During post-conviction proceedings, Mirzayance alleged his counsel had been ineffective under Strickland v. Washington, because counsel had advised Mirzayance to abandon his "Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity" claim, and because Mirzayance's parents had surprised counsel by refusing to testify.  A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit found counsel incompetent for failing to put the parents on the stand.  The Supreme Court disagreed with this finding, calling it "misleading."  Jacobsen uses some stronger words to describe the Ninth Circuits errors.     

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