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Blog Scan

No Delay for Ohio Execution:  At Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman writes that the Ohio Supreme Court has refused to delay the October 8 execution of Lawrence Reynolds Jr.  Yesterday's News Scan reported that Lawrence Raymond Reynolds Jr. had claimed Ohio's execution protocol was inadequate and had requested a stay.  Today, Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch reported that the Ohio Supreme Court "dismissed the appeal and denied the stay request, both on 6-0 votes."  Berman predicts that the Sixth Circuit will grant a stay.

The Outer Limits of Edwards v. Arizona:  At CrimProf Blog Don Dripps and Yale Kamisar discuss upcoming Supreme Court case Maryland v. Shatzer, a case where the facts "read almost like a question on a law professor's criminal procedure exam."  Shatzer addresses whether the incriminating statements of a child molester, made almost three years after he first invoked his right to an attorney, are inadmissible under Edwards' rule that when a suspect asserts his right to counsel the police cannot re-initiate interrogation. The Maryland trial court ruled that Edwards did not prevent use of the defendant's statements, but the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed. The court of appeals was unable to find any case that relied "solely upon the passage of time factor standing alone" (emphasis in the original) to conclude that the Edwards protection had expired.  Dripps and Kamisar predict that the Supreme Court will overrule the court of appeals' decision.  They believe that "odds are high that the Court will say that no reasonable suspect could possibly believe that the police were pestering him if they had "tried again" 31 months after their first meeting with the suspect."  The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Monday, October 5th.  CJLF's brief in the case is available here.  Orin Kerr has a quick post on Dripps and Kamisar's piece on Volokh Conspiracy.

Pilot Program to Protect Maryland Domestic Abuse Victims:
  Jordan Weissman writes for The Blog of Legal Times that courts in Montgomery County, Maryland are launching a new program to safeguard domestic abuse victims.  The program will allow victims to file protective orders without ever setting foot in court.   Instead, they will file protective orders from the Montgomery County Family Justice Center, and have judges hear their requests via a video link to the courthouse.  The program is meant to respond to instances where women were killed by their abusers at or near courthouses in Maryland.  According to Chief Judge Ben Clyburn of the District Court of Maryland the program is patterned after a model used in San Diego, where courts have also adopted video conferencing to protect abuse victims.

Petition for Cert. in Exclusionary Rule Case:  Today, on Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr posts snippets from his petition for certiorari in McCane v. United States.   According to Kerr, McCane addresses "[w]hether the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applies to a search authorized by precedent at the time of the search that is subsequently ruled unconstitutional."  He, and co-counsel William H. Campbell, argue that Court should grant certiorari because this particular exclusionary rule question "is raised every time a court issues a ruling in a defendant's favor that departs unexpectedly from earlier decisions. Criminal defendants with similar cases still in the pipeline will invoke the new ruling in support of suppression. The question is, does the new case apply in full force so that the evidence is suppressed? Or does the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule apply so that the evidence is admitted?" Kerr's petition, written on behalf of defendant Markice McCane, addresses the Tenth Circuit's conclusion that McKane's conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm should nevertheless be upheld because the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied.   The search revealing McKane's possession of the gun was conducted before Arizona v. Gant overruled New York v. Belton.

Supreme Court Irrelevant?:
  Wall Street Journal Law Blogger Ashby Jones posts on Barry Friedman's New Republic article "Benched. Why the Supreme Court is Irrelevant."  According to Jones, Friedman's main point is that the Supreme Court is becoming irrelevant as it continues to regularly punt "on the big issues of the day."  Friedman faults the Roberts court for looking to avoid trouble by taking fewer hot-button cases and by handing down rulings on relatively narrow grounds on the big cases they have decided to take.  He believes the Court's actions are largely a matter of politics.  A skeptical Friedman writes, "don't expect much in the way of blockbusters from the Roberts Court anytime soon. Stuck between political forces on the left and conservative disarray on the right, the Court will most likely continue to creep rightward with no bold agenda."

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