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The Long List from the Long Conference

The US Supreme Court's official opening-of-the-term orders list is here. You can expect slow response time during the first hour or so.

"They can't reverse them all," the unofficial motto of the Ninth Circuit, is confirmed once again, as the Supreme Court denied certiorari of the Ninth's patently wrong reversal of yet another death sentence in Ryan v. Styers. CJLF's amicus brief in that case is here. Twenty years ago this December, James Styers told 5-year-old Christopher Milke, his girlfriend's son, that he would take him to a shopping mall to see Santa Claus. Instead, he took little Christopher out into the Arizona desert and put three bullets in the back of his head.

On the brighter side, the Ninth's equally erroneous decision in the Belmontes case, a case in which its judgments have already been vacated twice by the Supreme Court (cites here), is not out of the woods yet. Belmontes was on the conference list but is not on the orders list. That means (1) the state's petition will be considered again at another conference; or (2) the Court is preparing a summary reversal opinion.

In arguments today, Maryland's AG Gansler is personally arguing Maryland v. Shatzer, on the question of whether the Edwards v. Arizona "don't ask again" rule for invocation of the Miranda right to counsel is perpetual. Tricia Bishop has this story in the Baltimore Sun. Lauren's brief for CJLF as amicus is here.

AP has this brief story on denial of certiorari in Holmes v. Louisiana, No. 08-1359, a broad challenge to the death penalty in that state.

More on not (yet) denied capital cases after the jump.
The following cases from my robot-created list of capital cases on the long conference list are missing from today's orders list and probably "relisted" for reconsideration at another conference:

08-10537 May 22, 2009 http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08-10537.htm
George Porter, Jr. v. Bill McCollum, Attorney General of Florida, et al.
USCA-11 (07-12976) December 18, 2008

09-144 August 4, 2009 http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/09-144.htm
David Bobby, Warden v. Robert J. Van Hook
USCA-6 (03-4207) March 6, 2009

09-5401 July 21, 2009 http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/09-5401.htm
Askari Abdullah Muhammad, fka Thomas Knight v. Walter A. McNeil, Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections, et al.
USCA-11 (08-13495) January 9, 2009

09-5731 August 5, 2009 http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/09-5731.htm
Marcus A. Wellons v. Hilton Hall, Warden
USCA-11 (07-13086) February 5, 2009

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