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SCOTUS Orders

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The U.S. Supreme Court orders list is here.  The Court dealt with two capital habeas cases we have been watching.  In Wilson v. Corcoran, the Supreme Court reversed the Seventh Circuit for committing the obvious error of granting federal habeas relief for a perceived error of state law -- contrary to the view of the state supreme court, the final word on such matters.  When it comes to aggravating circumstances in capital cases, states can either restrict the sentencer to a prescribed list or open it up to something pretty close to a mirror image of the Lockett anything-goes rule.  If the state chooses the former, a claim that the sentencer considered something not on the list is a question of state law to be resolved by the state courts.  It does not violate any federal right.  The case goes back to the Seventh Circuit for a third decision.  That court has made elementary errors twice now in one case, and in the latest round it inexplicably failed to correct the error after being notified in the petition for rehearing.

Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit gets a pass on its decision in the Arizona murder case, Ryan v. Robinson, noted here.

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