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SCOTUS Monday

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The US Supreme Court took up a federal criminal case from Iowa.  Here is the Eighth Circuit's summary of its decision:

113602P.pdf 08/06/2012 United States v. Marcus Burrage U.S. Court of Appeals Case No: 11-3602 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa - Des Moines [PUBLISHED] [Benton, Author, with Bye and Beam, Circuit Judges]
Criminal case - Criminal law. District court did not err in rejecting defendant's proximate cause instructions as this court has held that a showing of proximate cause is not required in a prosecution under 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(b)(1) for distributing heroin resulting in death; use of "contributing cause" language was appropriate under this court's case law; prosecutor's cross-examination of defendant and his closing comments as to whether the voice on a tape sounded like defendant were not improper; evidence was sufficient to support defendant's conviction; even if a police officer's testimony regarding defendant's status as a drug dealer was hearsay, its admission was harmless in light of the other evidence in the case.

The Supreme Court limited its review to "questions 1 and 2 presented by the petition."  These are apparently the causation issues, not the evidence issues.

The Court dumped Boyer v. Louisiana, a speedy trial case.  As is normal for dismissals "as improvidently granted," the opinion of the Court is a one-liner.  Justice Alito, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas, explains why they concur in the dumping.  Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan, dissents.

The cross-petitions in the Phillips case, previously noted in this post, have been denied without comment, after six relists.  Wonder what went on behind the scenes.

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