In its conference of November 10, 2016, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether, when the owner of a vacant home informs police that he has not authorized entry, an officer assessing probable cause to arrest those inside for trespassing may discredit the suspects’ questionable claims of an innocent mental state; whether it is a violation of the Sixth Amendment guarantee of conflict-free counsel for a lawyer who previously prosecuted a defendant to represent that same defendant in a subsequent and related capital trial; and whether a state court violates a petitioner’s federal due process rights when it denies a new trial and DNA testing in an actual innocence case in which newly discovered evidence demonstrates that the only physical evidence linking the petitioner to the crime scene was based upon inaccurate forensic science and false expert testimony.

District of Columbia v. Wesby
15-1485

Issues: (1) Whether police officers who found late-night partiers inside a vacant home belonging to someone else had probable cause to arrest the partiers for trespassing under the Fourth Amendment, and in particular whether, when the owner of a vacant home informs police that he has not authorized entry, an officer assessing probable cause to arrest those inside for trespassing may discredit the suspects’ questionable claims of an innocent mental state; and (2) whether, even if there was no probable cause to arrest the apparent trespassers, the officers were entitled to qualified immunity because the law was not clearly established in this regard.

Stokes v. South Carolina
15-9329

Issues: (1) Whether it is a violation of the Sixth Amendment guarantee of conflict-free counsel for a lawyer who previously prosecuted a defendant to represent that same defendant in a subsequent and related capital trial; and (2) whether a valid waiver of the right to conflict-free counsel can be found where the trial record contains no mention of a conflict or waiver, and the post-conviction record does not address, let alone satisfy, the constitutionally required elements of a valid waiver.

White v. Pauly
16-67

Issues: (1) Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s panel opinion improperly denied qualified immunity to the officers by considering the validity of the use of force from the perspective of the suspects rather than from the perspective of a reasonable police officer on the scene; and (2) whether the panel opinion considered clearly established law at too high a level of generality rather than giving particularized consideration to the facts and circumstances of this case.

Sireci v. Florida
16-5247

Issue: Whether a state court violates a petitioner’s federal due process rights when it denies a new trial and DNA testing in an actual innocence case in which newly discovered evidence demonstrates that the only physical evidence linking the petitioner to the crime scene was based upon inaccurate forensic science and false expert testimony.

Broom v. Ohio
16-5580

Issues: (1) Whether the first attempt to execute the petitioner was cruel and unusual under the Eighth and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution and if so, whether the appropriate remedy is to bar any further execution attempt on the petitioner; (2) whether a second attempt to execute the petitioner will be a cruel and unusual punishment and a denial of due process in violation of the Eighth and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution; and (3) whether a second attempt to execute the petitioner will violate double jeopardy protections under the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Kate Howard, Petitions to watch | Conference of November 10, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 8, 2016, 10:43 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/11/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-november-10/