Thursday, 19 April 2007

Fireworks in Panetti oral arguments?

From Capital Defense Weekly :

Fireworks in Panetti oral arguments?

I’m still working through the Panetti oral argument transcripts. My first blush look at the oral arguments in Panetti is leading me to ask — ummm, huh? Did I really read the Justice Kennedy’s apparent questioning about the upcoming cert petition on the Alabama right to postconviction case (or am I reading in too much)? Did a plurality of justices really suggest that the AEDPA may impose unconstitutional limitations on the Great Writ & Article III along the lines of Felker v. Turpin? Did the attorney representing the state of Texas come dangerously close to contempt (if Judge Roundtree was on the SCOTUS I suspect counsel would have been cuffed at the podium)? I guess it is wait and see until the decision comes out in June.

I noted yesterday that Uttecht v. Brown was likely to be the more important of the two capital cases argued this week, I’m not so sure now.

I should note that Kent Scheidegger at (eek!) CJLF’s Crime & Consequences blog seems to have the same sorta reaction, something else is going on that isn’t readily explainable, but was left with the same general question I was, what is going on here?

I would be remiss not to note that counsel for both parties appeared to have well represented their clients before the Court.

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