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MURDERER’S CHALLENGE TO DEATH SENTENCE REJECTED-- June 26.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction and death sentence of a Texas man convicted of murdering a woman and her five-year-old granddaughter. At issue in Davila was whether earlier Supreme Court precedent allowing review of a defaulted claim of substantial error by a trial attorney should extend to claimed errors by a murderer’s appellate attorney, even when a federal court finds that the error claim is without merit. >>
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS MURDERER’S CONVICTION-- June 22.
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a murderer’s claim that his conviction and sentence should be overturned because his trial lawyer failed to object to the closure of an overcrowded courtroom during jury selection. Kennedy writes, “To obtain relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the defendant . . . must show . . . that the attorney’s error was ‘so serious that counsel was not functioning as the “counsel” guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment.’ Second, the defendant must show that the attorney’s error ‘prejudiced the defense.’ ” >>
WEAK SENTENCING CAUSING MORE CRIME IN CALIFORNIA
Changes in CA sentencing policy over the past six years are resulting in major increases in both violent and property crime, according to CJLF. “With more than 30,000 habitual felons left in California communities under [AB 109], and no prospect of a prison sentence for new drug and property convictions, Realignment has turned our county jails into revolving doors,” says Michael Rushford. >>
Oral Argument on Challenge to Enforcement of Prop. 66-- June 6.
Proposition 66 is the ballot initiative adopted to speed up enforcement of the death penalty in CA. CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger participated in the oral argument, live-streamed here. >>