Correction- we lost the Cheaters bet Sunday so we were down 880 Bradys but the Fins won outright so we won 1000 Hennes and are up 120 Estafans for the week!
Supreme Court update: normally the milieu of famous federal bloggers (but our favourite federal blogger is much more interested in his fantasy football nonsense) we bring you an update on what's going on at the Supreme Court:
The court heard argument today in Padilla v. Commonwealth of Kentucky,
From the SCOTUS blog: At issue in the case is whether a criminal defendant’s guilty plea can be set aside because his defense counsel affirmatively misadvised him with regard to the deportation consequences of the plea, and whether such misadvice constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment.
Query: We thought only Massachusetts was a commonwealth. What other states are Commonwealths and what is the difference between a Commonwealth and a State?
The "misadvice" issue is one area of both state and federal law that we often see in post conviction motions.
For those death penalty mavens, the Court heard argument today in Smith v. Spisak
on whether there must be jury unanimity in finding mitigating evidence in a capital case. The issue is not that broad upon first glance because it deals with a specific instruction used in Ohio: “[i]f all twelve members of the jury find by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the aggravating circumstances in each separate count outweighs the mitigating factors, then you must return that finding to the court.”
Of course the court has the option to extend its opinion beyond these narrow instructions.
And finally for those of you with a white collar practice, the court
agreed to examine claims that “searing media attacks” on Enron executive Jeffrey K. Skilling tainted his criminal trial and conviction on various fraud charges. The case of Skilling v. U.S. (08-1394) also raises an issue on the scope of the federal law punishing the failure to provide “honest services” as a corporate executive. The "honest services" issue has been hotly litigated the last few years as the DOJ applied increasing pressure on prosecuting corporate officers.