Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

The court will release orders from the March 16 conference on Monday at 9:30 a.m. There is a possibility of opinions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Monday the court hears oral argument in Sveen v. Melin. Amy Howe has our preview.

Middleton v. Florida

Petition for certiorari denied on February 26, 2018
Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
17-6580 Fla. N/A N/A N/A N/A OT 2017

Issues: (1) Whether, when a Florida jury gave an advisory recommendation without making the findings required by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments and Hurst v. Florida, the error is automatically harmless because the advisory recommendation was unanimous, and whether the jury’s recommendation was a verdict for purposes of conducting a valid harmless-error analysis; (2) whether the death-sentencing procedures used in this case failed to comply with the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when the jury was advised repeatedly by the court that its recommendation would be nonbinding; (3) whether the state court violated the Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by giving the jury an instruction that relieved the prosecution of its burden to prove that petitioner had a careful plan or prearranged design to commit murder before the crime began in order for the jury to apply the cold, calculated and premeditated aggravating circumstance when rendering an advisory sentence of death; and (4) whether, when the appellate court held it was error for the sentencer to find one or more the aggravating circumstances, the appellate court’s decision violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments when it held the error harmless because the sentencer indicated that it would still impose the death penalty if valid aggravating circumstances remained.

DateProceedings and Orders
Aug 14 2017Application (17A189) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from August 30, 2017 to October 29, 2017, submitted to Justice Thomas.
Aug 22 2017Application (17A189) granted by Justice Thomas extending the time to file until October 29, 2017.
Oct 26 2017Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due November 30, 2017)
Nov 28 2017Motion to extend the time to file a response from November 30, 2017 to January 14, 2018, submitted to The Clerk.
Dec 06 2017Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is extended to and including January 16, 2018.
Jan 16 2018Brief of respondent State of Florida in opposition filed.
Feb 01 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 2/16/2018.
Feb 20 2018DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 2/23/2018.
Feb 26 2018Petition DENIED. Justice Breyer, dissenting from the denial of certiorari. (Detached Opinion). Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ginsburg, dissenting from the denial of certiorari. (Detached Opinion). VIDED
Term Snapshot