Two noteworthy cert. petitions were filed a month ago in criminal cases:  Ryan v. Jones, regarding an ineffective assistance of counsel claim; and Koubriti v. Convertino, regarding prosecutorial immunity for the use of false testimony at trial.

A third, unrelated petition filed at a similar time, Mills v. Midwest Title Loans, raises a question about state regulation of consumer loans under the Commerce Clause.

The petitions and questions presented in all three cases follow the jump.  The briefs in opposition in two of the cases have not yet been filed.

Title: Ryan v. Jones
Docket: 09-1314
Issues: (1) Whether a “non-neutral” mental health expert must be appointed to assist the defense at sentencing; (2) whether defense counsel performs deficiently by relying on the description of childhood abuse provided by the defendant and his mother and stepfather, and not additionally interviewing the defendant's sibling regarding the same type of abuse; (3) whether a federal court errs by considering only new mitigation evidence, without considering rebuttal evidence and evidence of aggravating circumstances, in determining whether the additional mitigation evidence would have changed the sentencing decision; and (4) whether the Ninth Circuit erred by ruling that a district court, in considering ineffective assistance of counsel claims following an evidentiary hearing, should not evaluate the credibility of expert witnesses who testified at the hearing regarding evidence a petitioner claims should have been presented at sentencing.

Title: Koubriti v. Convertino
Docket: 09-1322
Issue: Whether a prosecutor may be subjected to a civil trial and potential damages for a wrongful conviction and incarceration where the prosecutor allegedly (1) violated a criminal defendant's substantive due process rights by procuring false testimony during the criminal investigation and then (2) introduced that same testimony against the criminal defendant at trial.

Title: Mills v. Midwest Title Loans
Docket: 09-1325
Issue: Whether the Commerce Clause permits a state to regulate consumer loans to its residents by a firm that advertises and conducts multiple loan-related activities in the state, but which requires all loan agreements to be signed in another state.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline, Uncategorized