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Federal Use of Death Penalty Stays the Same:  Doug Berman posts on Sentencing Law and Policy that USDoJ is seeking  the death penalty at roughly the same rate under the Obama Administration as it did under the last Bush Administration AG. Berman links to an NPR article by Ari Shapiro discussing Attorney General Eric Holder's approval of  prosecutors seeking  the death penalty in 7 out of 61 cases - an 11% approval rating.  Shapiro notes that Holder has said he is not a proponent of the death penalty, yet, according to the Federal Death Penalty Resource Center's numbers, this is roughly the same rate at which former Attorney General Michael Mukasey approved federal use of the death penalty - 13%.  Both numbers are still very low, considering that 65% of Americans generally approve use of the death penalty and 57% believe it is fairly administered.  Holder's rate is only half that of the first Bush Administration AG, John Ashcroft.

Petitions to Watch:  Erin Miller posts SCOTUSblog's "Petitions to Watch" for the Supreme Court's conference tomorrow.  On the list are two habeas cases, Ryan v. Scott (09-274), and Ricci v. Kamienski (09-395).  Kamienski involves the 1987 murder conviction of Paul Kamenski, and asks the Supreme Court to resolve the standard of review for federal appellate courts analyzing a sufficiency-of-evidence claims in a habeas petition.  The Third Circuit reviewed the record and concluded "that no reasonable juror could conclude that the evidence admitted against Kamienski at his trial established that he was guilty of murder or felony murder beyond a reasonable doubt...."   The second case, Ryan v. Scott, asks the Supreme Court to address the Ninth Circuit's holding that an Arizona state rule did not provide a basis for an adequate state procedural bar. Specifically, the court held that the rule was not "regularly followed or consistently applied' by the Arizona state courts," based on one Arizona Court of Appeals decision...."  The facts of Scott will be familiar to regular readers of our site.  The Respondent in the case, Roger Mark Scott, was a part of the conspiracy to murder 4-year-old Christopher Milke, the victim in our brief Schiro v. Styers.

Bloggers Comment on Porter v. McCollum
Both Jonathan Adler and Ed Whalen have raised interesting points regarding the Supreme Court's recent decision in Porter.  On Volokh Conspiracy, Adler comments that the Supreme Court has reversed three ineffective assistance of counsel claim's this term - the most recent being Porter v. McCollum. He writes that each case found the appellate court had been "too solicitous" of the defense, and each case was decided without oral argument. For Adler "it would appear the Court is quite unhappy with how appellate courts are handling ineffective assistance claims."  At NRO's Bench Memos, Whalen points to language in the decision that he believes recognizes an unborn human being as a child.   

"Evidence Theory and the NAS Report on Forensic Science":
CrimProf Blog editor Kevin Cole posted a link today to Michael S. Pardo's upcoming article in the Utah Law Review.  In his article, the University of Alabama Law School Associate Professor of Law discusses the National Academy of Sciences' recent report on forensic science and its recommendations.  Pardo writes that although many of the report's recommendations "focus on activities that take place outside of legal proceedings," it also invites courts to respond and improve upon the law's use of forensic evidence.  He believes that courts should focus less on the admissibility of the evidence, and instead examine the sufficiency of the evidence.  

1 Comment

Even the death of a man in the world wants to deserve the death penalty should not be given until the offense. The death penalty should not be. Because of all these unwanted criminal incidents are behind the bad management and governance systems

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