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Two Criminal Law Decisions for U.S. Supremes: At SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston briefly summarizes today's U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Of the four, two involved issues relating to criminal law.  Tony Mauro also provides a quick summary at Blog of Legal Times. The first case, District Attorney's Office v. Osborne (No. 08-6), held that an individual whose criminal conviction has become final does not have a constitutional right to to obtain post-conviction access to the State's DNA evidence for testing to prove his innocence.  A 5-4 majority found that the task of writing rules to control access to DNA evidence "belongs primarily" to the legislature. Denniston reports that two members of the majority, Justices Alito and Kennedy, also wrote that, if a defense lawyer fails to seek DNA testing during trial, and does so for tactical reasons, there is no constitutional right to seek access following conviction.  Kent's post on Chief Justice Robert's majority opinion can be found here.  Ed Whalen also has two posts discussing Osborne's "debate" over the proper role of the Court at Bench Memos.  The first post features Roberts' majority opinion, while the second offers an excerpt from Justice Stevens' dissent.  Yeager v. U.S. (No. 08-67), the other criminal law case decided today, held that if a jury finds an individual not guilty on some counts, but can't agree on the others, prosecutors may not try that individual again on the "hung" counts if they had a common element with those on which the jury acquitted.  In a 6-3 decision, Justice Stevens wrote that Yeager could not be retried on charges if a jury verdict on other charges had resolved an essential element of those crimes.  The other two cases decided today, Gross v. FBL Financial Services (No. 08-441) and Travelers Indemnity, et al., v. Bailey, et al. (No. 08-295), discussed workplace discrimination and a bankruptcy court's power to block lawsuits following a settlement.

Random Drug Test Policy Violates State's Protection Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure:  Eugene Volokh writes at Volokh Conspiracy that the North Carolina Court of Appeals has struck down a County Board of Education's random drug test policy for all public school employees.  The decision, Jones v. Graham County Bd. of Educ. (N.C. Ct. App. June 2, 2009) found that because public school employees do not have a reduced expectation of privacy "by virtue of their employment in a public school system," and because the record was devoid of evidence that the Board's prior policy -- requiring all applicants to pass a drug or alcohol test, and requiring employees to pass a test if supervisor found reasonable cause -- was in any way insufficient to satisfy the Board's needs, "the employees' acknowledged privacy interests outweigh the Board's interest in conducting random, suspicionless testing."

Which City is the "Murder Capital" of the United States?:
  Wall Street Journal's Law Blog writer, Ashby Jones, reports that while recent FBI data found Baltimore to have the highest homicide rate in the United States, a story in today's Detroit News found that the Detroit police "routinely underreport homicides" and an "actual" total makes Detroit the homicide capital of the nation.  The article, by Charlie LeDuff and Santiago Esparza, reports that rather than following medical examiner reports to determine if it is a homicide, Detroit takes a "wait and see" approach on killings that may have been accidents, suicides, or acts of self-defense.  Detroit News found that Detroit's actual homicide rate in 2008 -- 40.7 per 100,000 -- was higher than Baltimore's homicide rate of 37 per 100,000.   
  

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