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.
3/30Brumfield v. Cain Whether a defendant in a capital case has a right to an independent court hearing on Whether he suffers from mental incapacity and therefore is not eligible for the death penalty.
3/31Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc. Whether the Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., which held that “a patentee’s use of a royalty agreement that projects beyond the expiration date of the patent is unlawful per se”.
On Monday afternoon Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer testified before the House Appropriations Committee. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss the Court’s budget for the next fiscal year and the federal judiciary, but the legislators also took full advantage of the occasion to touch on other topics as well.
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.