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SCOTUS Decides Four Criminal Cases

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Lots of criminal law action from the high court this morning:

Chaidez v. United States held that the Supreme Court's extension of ineffective assistance claims to cover misadvice or nonadvice about immigration consequences of conviction in Padilla v. Kentucky was indeed a "new rule" and hence not retroactive on habeas corpus to overturn final convictions.  CJLF filed an amicus brief in this case.

Evans v. Michigan held that a directed verdict of acquittal bars retrial under the Double Jeopardy Clause, even if the directed verdict is based on an error of law.

Johnson v. Williams held that when a state court rejects the defendant's state-law arguments and does not expressly mention a federal claim, the court is rebuttably presumed to have rejected the federal claim on the merits for the purpose of the federal habeas "deference" rule, 28 U.S.C. ยง2254(d).  In this case the presumption was not rebutted because the state court of appeal applied a state supreme court decision that did consider the federal implications.

Henderson v. United States held that, for the purpose of the "plain error" rule allowing a party to raise on appeal a plain error he did not raise in the trial court, "plain" is determined at the time of the appeal, not the time of the trial.  A trial court decision contrary to a later Supreme Court decision can thus be a "plain error."

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