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Abu-Jamal GVR'd

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The Supreme Court orders list is here. The controversial Abu-Jamal case is vacated and remanded to the Third Circuit to reconsider in light of Smith v. Spisak. On the WaPo site is this AP story. The headline writer refers to Abu-Jamal as a "suspect."

The Court also sent a California case, Patrick v. Smith, back to the Ninth Circuit to reconsider in light of the high court's spanking of the Ninth in McDaniel v. Brown.  Anyone care to bet that the Ninth will say Brown has no bearing on Smith only to be reversed by the Supreme Court? We've seen that scenario a time or two.

Attached to the order list are opinions in summary dispositions of Presley v. Georgia, on exclusion of the public from voir dire, and Wellons v. Hall, previously noted here, on a federal habeas claim where the facts had been insufficiently developed in state court. Wellons is remanded for reconsideration in light of Cone v. Bell.

The court turned down the California prisoner case, Schwarzenegger v. Plata, "for want of jurisdiction." I'll have more on that in a separate post.

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News Scan from Crime and Consequences Blog on January 20, 2010 1:58 PM

Supreme Court Upholds Holly Wood's Death Sentence: The Associated Press reports on today's Supreme Court's decision to uphold the death sentence of an Alabama man who killed his former lover.  A UPI report is available here.  In Wood v. Allen... Read More

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"Anyone care to bet that the Ninth will say Brown has no bearing on Smith only to be reversed by the Supreme Court? We've seen that scenario a time or two."

Given that Pregerson and Canby are on the panel (a District Judge sitting by designation is also on the panel), that's a pretty safe bet. This case has an interesting history already.

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