In its conference of December 9, 2016, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether, when counsel fully concedes the client’s guilt to all charges over the client’s express objection, counsel’s performance amounts to a complete failure to subject the prosecution’s case to meaningful adversarial testing so that the United States v. Cronic prejudice standard applies, or whether the Strickland v. Washington prejudice standard applies; whether 21 U.S.C. § 853(a)(1) mandates joint and several liability among co-conspirators for forfeiture of the reasonably foreseeable proceeds of a drug conspiracy; 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.

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.

15-8114

Issues: (1) Whether, when counsel fully concedes the client’s guilt to all charges over the client’s express objection, counsel’s performance amounts to a complete failure to subject the prosecution’s case to meaningful adversarial testing so that the United States v. Cronic prejudice standard applies (as every other state and federal court to consider the question has held), or whether the Strickland v. Washington prejudice standard applies (as the lower court in this case held); (2) whether the petitioner’s 14th Amendment rights under Boykin v. Alabama and Brookhart v. Janis were violated when his counsel entered the “functional equivalent of a guilty plea” to first-degree murder over his objections; (3) whether the petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to self-representation under Faretta v. California was violated when the trial court did not explain that the petitioner had the right to represent himself when he tried unsuccessfully to fire his attorneys; and (4) whether, in a capital case, the defense counsel who concedes guilt after failing to investigate and present a readily available innocence defense against his client’s express wishes renders ineffective assistance under Strickland.

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 when 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.

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.

16-142

Issue: Whether 21 U.S.C. § 853(a)(1) mandates joint and several liability among co-conspirators for forfeiture of the reasonably foreseeable proceeds of a drug conspiracy.

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.

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 December 9, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 8, 2016, 10:17 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2016/12/petitions-to-watch-conference-of-december-9/