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Execution Delay in Texas:  Capital Defense Weekly reported late Wednesday night that the Supreme Court has halted the execution of Kenneth Mosley.  (The order is here.)  Mosley's execution was scheduled to take place today, but the Supreme Court agreed to halt the lethal injection until it resolves Wood v. Allen, a case that Mosley's attorney's argue could affect his own.  According to Capital Defense Weekly, Wood "centers on whether a trial lawyer was constitutionally deficient in failing to raise objections during the punishment phase of the trial."  That's not quite right.  Wood centers around claims that counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and present evidence of impaired mental functioning during the penalty phase.  His claims fail to mention, however, that the defense's psychiatric report showed Wood was not mentally retarded and included evidence that Wood had attempted to murder an ex-girlfriend by shooting at her through the window of her mother's home.  If presented, the report would have undermined Wood's defense that he killed the mother of his child in the heat of passion. An AP article in Ohio's Middleton Journal reports that Mosley fatally shot Officer Michael Moore in 1997 after respond to an attempted bank robbery when he was shot.  On Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman also provides a link to an AP article on the Mosley stay.  Kent's post on the Mosley stay is available here.  

Sex Offenders Registry and the Supreme Court:  Sex Crimes blogger Corey Rayburn Yung wonders,"[i]s SORNA (the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) going to the Supreme Court?"  Yung points to SCOTUSblog's recent "Petitions to Watch" post, and the petition Carr v. United StatesCarr addresses the criminal prosecution of an offender whose offense and interstate travel predates SORNA. In United States v. Dixon, the Seventh Circuit decided that the Act could be violated by an offender who traveled after the SORNA was passed.  Yung blogged on Dixon before, and notes that while he believes the Supreme Court should chime in on SORNA's constitutionality, he is "not sure the Justices will be interested in hearing [Dixon's] particular issues."  Once the Supreme Court comes back from their "long conference" we will know if Yung's instinct is correct.

"Give Us Your DNA and We'll Drop Your Charges": 
Ashby Jones reports on Wall Street Journal's Law Blog that Orange County, CA has "quietly" begun offering arrestees a deal, if an arrestee for misdemeanors, or low level felony, gives up his DNA and pays $75, the prosecutor will let you walk away.  LA Times writer district attorney's office, which runs its own database, has "informally" begun offering the deal to people arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors, including petty theft, trespassing and low-level drug-possession felonies.  Both Jones and Abdollah report that while some view the plan "as a deterrent for potential criminals" and a "useful investigative tool," both law enforcement and defense attorneys object to the plan.  Defense attorneys view it as an incentive for prosecutors to pressure people into giving samples.  "[L]aw-enforcement objections stem from the thought that arrestees can essentially walk free."

Public Attitudes about the Supreme Court:
  On Blog of Legal Times, David Ingram reports that Bush v. Gore has had some "lasting impact on how the public views the justices."    C-SPAN released poll results today that show 29 percent of respondent's felt the ruling affected their view of the Court.  The network interviewed 801 voters and asked if the voters had ever visited the Court (21% had), whether there is a mandatory retirement age for justices (79% knew there was not), and whether there is any requirement that the chief justice be a lawyer (52% knew there was not).  Ingram reports a majority support televising oral arguments and opposed lifetime appointments.  C-SPAN"s pdf of the poll results is available here

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