Issue: (1) Whether the Mississippi Supreme Court erred in
holding that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth
Amendment permits a forensic analyst to inform the
jury of the results of forensic testing of DNA evidence
that she did not participate in or observe, so long as
she is “familiar with each step of the complex testing
process conducted by” the non-testifying expert and
“conducted her own [comparison] analysis” of the
DNA profiles generated by the non-testifying expert; (2) whether the court below erred in holding that the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit the
exclusion from a capital trial of a defendant’s
proffered evidence of the harsh and suffering prison
conditions he would face if the jury elected a sentence
of life imprisonment instead of execution, where such
evidence rebuts the argument that the death penalty
is needed to hold the defendant accountable, rebuts
the state’s suggestion of future dangerousness, and
is constitutionally relevant mitigation evidence; and (3) whether a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s
requirement that jurors be permitted to form a
reasoned moral response to the defendant’s
background, character, and crime may be excused as
harmless error, as the court below and some United
States courts of appeals have found, or whether such
constitutional error must require automatic reversal of the
death sentence, as other United States courts of
appeals have held.
On Monday, the Justices met for the “Long Conference” – their first Conference since the end of June, at which they considered roughly two thousand petitions for review. On Thursday morning, the Court released grants from that Conference, adding thirteen new cases to their docket for the upcoming Term.
“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.” […]
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.
Awarded the Webby Award for excellence on the internet.