Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pending cert petitions on capital sentencing

Lyle Denniston, who writes for scotusblog and follows the Supreme Court very closely, has alerted me to the fact that, in addition to the Giles case, discussed in my posting of December 24 (and later updated), there are other Crawford-related petitions before the Court at its conference this Friday, posing the important issue of whether the confrontation right applies at the selection phase of capital sentencing proceedings – that is, at the proceeding held, after the defendant’s guilt and eligibility for the death penalty have been determined, to decide whether the death penalty actually should be imposed. See the prior postings, Crawford and Capital Sentencing, from Aug. 20, 2006, and Crawford and Sentencing, from April. 4, 2005, and comments to them. One of the cases is Fields v. United States, No. 07-6395, seeking review of United States v. Fields, 483 F.3d 313 (5th Cir. 2007), which has an extensive discussion and a fine dissent on the issue. The others are Johnson v. Nevada, No. 06-10345, seeking review of Johnson v. State, 148 P.3d 767 (Nev. 2006), and Thomas v. Nevada, No. 06-10347, seeking review of Thomas v. State, 148 P.3d 727 (Nev. 2006). The Nevada decisions relied on this point on the holding of a companion case, Summers v. State, 148 P.3d 778 (Nev. 2006), in which the discussion on this point was rather cursory and not nuanced. Both the Nevada cases were distributed for a previous conference, but with no decision made.

You can see the cert petition inFields by clicking here, the brief in opposition by clickinog here, and the reply brief by clicking here. The brief in opposition in Thomas is available at 2007 WL 2238110. I'll post other papers on these cases as I am able.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Anyone know of Florida cases addressing this?