Court to hear four more cases
Posted by Lyle Denniston at 01:34 PM
The Supreme Court on Friday added four new cases for its decision docket in the current Term, including a test of federal courts' authority to overturn a state trial judge's decision to remove a juror from a capital trial because of that juror's views about capital punishment. That case is Uttecht v. Brown (06-413, petition). During jury selection in this Washington State murder case, the trial judge dismissed a juror because of equivocal statements about the death penalty. After the Washington Supreme Court upheld that dismissal, the case went to federal habeas court, leading to a Ninth Circuit ruling that barring a juror is allowed only if it is clear that that juror would not follow the law. The order list can be found here.
None of the cases was put on an expedited briefing schedule, so presumably they will be heard in the April sitting, which begins April 16.