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Blog Scan

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Popular Support for the Death Penalty:  Last month, Kent reported that the majority of Britons and Canadians supported the death penalty, and guest blogger Bill Otis wrote that "the death penalty exists in both law and in practice in countries with well over half the world's population."  Over the weekend, on Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman reported that 86% of Japanese support the death penalty.  Berman writes that Japan stands as another modern example of an industrialized nation that still utilizes the death penalty.  And, apparently, 86% of the 3,000 men and women surveyed support its continued use. 

More on McDonald v. Chicago:  A few weeks ago, Tony Mauro reported that the Supreme Court granted the NRA's motion for oral argument time in the Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago.  Today, Wall Street Journal's Law Blogger, Ashby Jones, reports that the Supreme Court's grant, "sliced the lead attorney's time by a third and gave it to the NRA and its recently hired attorney, Paul Clement, the former Solicitor General...."  Apparently, the NRA's argument is different from the argument offered by lead attorney, Alan Gura.  The NRA will argue that the most "straightforward route" to incorporating the Second Amendment on the states is through the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, while Gura urges the Court to incorporate the Second Amendment through the 14th Amendment's "privileges or immunities" clause.  A Washington Post article by Robert Barnes comments that the NRA's motion for oral argument time "underscores the bad blood between the erstwhile Second Amendment allies."

Does Kiyemba Address a Moot Issue?:  That's what the Department of Justice appears to believe now that Switzerland has extended an offer of "resettlement" to the two Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay.  Jurist writer, Ximena Marinero, posts that the Department of Justice argued in its' merits brief for Kiyemba, et. al. v. Obama, that with all of the detainees scheduled for resettlement in other countries, "legal constraints prevent the courts from ordering that petitioners be brought to and released in the United States."  Lyle Denniston reports on SCOTUSblog that the DOJ suggested, "[a]s an alternative," that the Court uphold a D. C. Circuit Court ruling that denied federal judges any authority to order the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the U. S. itself.  Denniston writes that dismissing Kiyemba would allow the government to temporarily avoid a ruling that might allow courts to keep some some of the power to decide the fate of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, after they have been cleared for release.  The Obama administration has long held that only the Executive Branch can decide what happens ultimately to Guantanamo prisoners.

Cracking Down on Juror Tweeting:  At Blog of Legal Times, Marcia Coyle reports that a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States has endorsed a set of model jury instructions for district judges to help deter jurors from using cell phones, computers or other electronic technologies during their jury service.  The suggested federal instructions inform jurors that they may not use those technologies in the courtroom, in deliberations or outside the courthouse to communicate about or research cases on which they are serving.  The new instructions contain a laundry list of unacceptable forms of communication during the trial.  It is incredibly thorough and excludes communications through "your cell phone, through e-mail, Blackberry, iPhone, text messaging, or on Twitter, through any blog or website, through any internet chat room, or by way of any other social networking websites, including Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, and YouTube."

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