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"Honest Services" Confusion Won't Delay Blagojevich's Trial: Chicago Tribune writer Jeff Coen reports that U.S. District Judge James Zagel denied Rod Blagojevich's request to delay the trial until November.  Blagojevich is charged with unlawfully leveraging the powers of his office for money and attempting to sell President Barack Obama's vacate Senate seat.  His attorneys requested a delay because of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision on the "honest services" fraud law in U.S. v. Black and an avalanche of evidence handed over by prosecutors over the past few weeks.  Although there is concern that some, or all, of the "honest services" fraud law will be thrown out because it is too vague, Judge Zagel said the jury will be looking at the facts of the case and not the possibly changing law.  At his trial, Blagojevich plans to prove his innocence by playing recordings, that were secretly made by investigators in 2008, as he testifies. 

No Delayed Execution for the Killer of Three:  Associated Press writer Micheal Graczyk reports that Texas death row inmate Hank Skinner's request to delay his execution has been denied by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  Skinner was convicted of fatally bludgeoning 40-year-old Twila Busby and fatally stabbing her two adult sons, Elwin Caler, 22, and Randy Busby, 22.  Skinner has claimed that he is innocent, and that it could have been Twila Busby's uncle, Robert Donnell, that killed the three.  His lawyers believe that his innocence could be proved by testing DNA found at the scene.  For now, Skinner's execution will go on as planned, although he is hopeful that the Supreme Court or Gov. Rick Perry will help him halt his execution. 

Yale Plans to be the Archive of Bobbleheads:  New York Times writer Adam Liptak reports on Yale's new exhibit of Supreme Court Justice bobblehead dolls.  The Green Bag has created about one bobblehead a year since 2003.  They started with Chief Justice Rehnquist and add more in the reverse order of seniority.  Ross E. Davies, editor in chief of The Green Bag, says "The bobbleheads are, not to overstate it, a little bit more than toys.  They're portrayals of the work and character of these judges."  The bobbleheads are not for sale and hard to get a hold of.  The Journal has stated, "We make no promises about when we will make them or who will get them."

Oklahoma Considering Bill That Could Execute Child Rapist: Associated Press writer Sean Murphy reports on an Oklahoma measure that could allow for punishment of life in prison without parole, or death, for anyone convicted of a second offense of raping a child 6 or younger.  The bill has already passed the House and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committee.  Louisiana had a similar law that was declared unconstitutional in 2008 by the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the Court's majority opinion, found here, Justice Kennedy wrote, "(t)he death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child."  If Oklahoma's bill becomes a law and is used, it will most likely be challenged.  The senator sponsoring the bill in Oklahoma's senate is hoping that the recent changes in the Supreme Court will yield a different result.  

2 Comments

My wife was condemned to go to Yale, and I must say it's the perfect choice for a collection of bobbleheads.

I've never heard of this person:

"Justice Anthony Scalia"

You might want to fix that. I think you meant "Justice Anthony Kennedy."

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