Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 

A big day in the law...

Yesterday was pretty exciting if you share exactly my interests, which it true of about three people worldwide. There were two exciting developments:

1) The Supreme Court granted certiorari and agreed to hear argument in two cases challenging the sentencing of juvenile offenders to life without parole. Both cases, Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, involve children who committed murder at age 14. The court has previously ruled that life without parole for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional if the crime is less than murder; the question in these cases will be whether or not that rule will be extended to murderers. My own take on this is that the cases are a battle for the heart and mind of Justice Kennedy, who will be a swing vote in an eventual 5-4 decision one way or the other.

2) Texas inmate Hank Skinner, scheduled for execution on Wednesday despite a pending federal case regarding untested DNA samples that might exculpate him, received a stay of execution from the Texas Court of Appeals.

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