In its conference of February 17, 2017, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether a guilty plea inherently waives a defendant’s right to challenge the constitutionality of his statute of conviction; whether it is a violation of the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for a state to deviate arbitrarily from its voluntarily adopted execution safeguards; and whether, in a means-of-execution suit, known and available alternatives are limited to those already provided in a statute an inmate is challenging.

16-424

Issue: Whether a guilty plea inherently waives a defendant’s right to challenge the constitutionality of his statute of conviction.

16-602

Issues: (1) Whether, to satisfy his Glossip v. Gross burden, a condemned prisoner is limited to selecting an alternative method of execution from those already permitted by state statute; (2) whether Glossip requires a prisoner proposing an alternative lethal injection drug to provide a specific willing supplier for the alternative drug; (3) whether, to meet his Glossip burden, a condemned prisoner is required to provide, through a medical expert, a detailed protocol for an alternative method of execution including “precise procedures, amounts, times and frequencies of implementation”; and (4) whether it is a violation of the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for a state to deviate arbitrarily from its voluntarily adopted execution safeguards.

16-5454

Issue: Whether 18 U.S.C. § 1596(a)(2) – which expressly establishes extraterritorial jurisdiction over sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1591 – is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the foreign commerce clause when applied in a criminal case to order restitution from a foreign defendant to a foreign victim for conduct that occurred exclusively overseas.

16-6250

Issues: (1) Whether a special jury instruction as to Section 790.162, Florida Statutes, that an accused may be convicted of that offense with the “stated intent” to do bodily harm to any person or damage to the property of any person, amounts to an unconstitutional diminishment of the required criminal mens rea or scienter under the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Elonis v. United States; and (2) whether, under Elonis, Section 790.162, Florida Statutes, contains the necessary criminal element of mens rea or guilty knowledge instead of a mental state of mere negligence.

16-6316

Issue: Whether the trial judge’s failure to recuse himself from the petitioner’s capital trial violated the due process clause.

16-6496

Issues: (1) Whether, in a means-of-execution suit, known and available alternatives are limited to those already provided in a statute an inmate is challenging; (2) whether an inmate pleads a known and available alternative by identifying an execution method – firing squad – that other states have used and that the state has admitted it can carry out; and (3) whether an inmate pleads a known and available alternative by identifying a lethal-injection drug and identifying vendors who currently sell it.

Posted in Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended Citation: Kate Howard, Petitions to watch | Conference of February 17, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 13, 2017, 12:59 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/02/petitions-watch-conference-february-17/