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Republican SCOTUS Nominees Outlast Democrat Candidates:  Amy Harder and Chris Szymanski report at The Ninth Justice that a recent NationalJournal.com analysis of Supreme Court nominees reveals "justices picked by Democrats have served about five years less on average than those picked by Republicans."  Excluding the current members on the Court, GOP candidates tend to serve 20 years, while Democratic picks average 15 years of service.  The analysis shows that of the eleven Justices appointed between the ages of 53 and 57, three (Justices Stevens, Breyer and Alito) are still on the Court, two left early (Abe Fortas and Arthur Goldberg) and the remaining 6 served an average of 14 years.  Judge Sotomayor is 55, and she has been nominated by a Democrat. Will she beat the odds and serve more than 15 years?

Texas Abolishes LWOP for Juveniles:  Doug Berman posts on Sentencing Law and Policy that he is "quite pleased and impressed that Texas passed legislation to reduce sentences for certain juvenile killers[,]" but also "troubled" by the media's lack of interest in the legislation.  On June 19, 2009 the Texas Legislature passed legislation abolishing life without parole for juveniles and establishing a 40-year minimum for juveniles convicted of capital murder.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari in two juvenille LWOP cases, Graham v. Florida and Sullivan v. Florida, back in May.  Texas' new legislation could prove relevant to the Court's decision.

Altering Prosecutor's Obligations with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16:  At Blog of Legal Times, Mike Scarcella reports that the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure may amend the rules of criminal procedure to require prosecutors to disclose any exculpatory information to the defense.  Back in April, Judge Emmet Sullivan of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (the same Judge Sullivan who presided over Ted Stevens' trial) urged the committee re-examine amending Rule 16 to require the disclosure of any exculpatory information.  According to Scarcella, on July 2nd, Chairman Judge Richard Tallman responded to the request.  Apparently, the Justice Department has created a working group to focus on the issue.  The working group will report to the committee in October. 

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