Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Lyle Denniston's Preview

Lyle Denniston's Preview

Lyle Denniston has posted a preview of tomorrow's Texas cases on SCOTUS Blog titled, "Capital cases 1/17/06: Broad or narrow review." Here's the opening:

For the fifth time in the past nine years, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jan. 17, reopens constitutional issues on the role of juries in death penalty sentencing in Texas. If the two hours of back-to-back hearings in three cases reach their full potential, they could provide a sweeping inquiry into the role of child abuse in leading to criminal behavior later in life, the authority of states to fashion their own rules for review of death cases after convictions have become final, and the duty of state and lower federal courts to abide by Supreme Court precedent.

At the same time, however, each of the two hearings could dissolve into case-specific inquiries that would bring no real change in the law. And there remains at least a possibility that the Court will not even decide two of the three cases, but rather send them back for another review in a federal appeals court.

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