Petitions to watch | Conference of January 19
on Jan 18, 2017 at 10:35 am
In its conference of January 19, 2017, the court will consider petitions involving issues such as whether Texas’ voter-ID law “results in” the abridgment of voting rights on account of race; whether a plaintiff’s claims arise out of or relate to a defendant’s forum activities when there is no causal link between the defendant’s forum contacts and the plaintiff’s claims; and whether the imposition of a death sentence in the absence of a unanimous jury verdict in support of death violates the Constitution.
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.
Issues: (1) Whether Texas’ voter-ID law “results in” the abridgment of voting rights on account of race; and (2) whether judgment should be rendered for the petitioners on the claim that Texas’ voter-ID law was enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose.
Issue: Whether a plaintiff’s claims arise out of or relate to a defendant’s forum activities when there is no causal link between the defendant’s forum contacts and the plaintiff’s claims – that is, where the plaintiff’s claims would be exactly the same even if the defendant had no forum contacts.
Issues: (1) Whether Alabama’s advisory-jury death-sentencing scheme, which is in all relevant aspects the same as the Florida scheme reviewed in Hurst v. Florida, violates the Sixth Amendment; (2) whether Hurstand the Sixth and Eighth Amendments require, at least, a unanimous jury recommendation for a sentence of death, as the Florida Supreme Court held on remand in Hurst; and (3) whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Hurst applies retroactively to the petitioner’s case, and the cases of other condemned inmates sentenced under unconstitutional capital sentencing laws, when the new rule announced in Hurst implicates the fundamental right to a fair trial and substantially enhances fact-finding procedures.
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 arbitrarily deviate from its voluntarily adopted execution safeguards.
Issues: (1) Whether the court should grant this certiorari petition, vacate the judgment below and remand this case for further consideration in light of the court’s recent decision in Foster v. Chatman; and (2) whether the court should grant this certiorari petition, vacate the judgment below and remand this case for further consideration in light of the court’s recent decision in Hurst v. Florida.
Issue: Whether the trial judge’s failure to recuse himself from the petitioner’s capital trial violated the due process clause.
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.
Issues: (1) Whether the Constitution requires – in a state where each aggravating circumstance is critical to the determination of a sentence – that every aggravating circumstance on which a death sentence is premised be found by a unanimous jury; (2) whether the Constitution requires – in a state where a sentencer is required to find that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances to impose death – that this finding be made by a unanimous jury; (3) whether the imposition of a death sentence in the absence of a unanimous jury verdict in support of death – a result that, today, can occur only in Montana and Alabama in their standard sentencing procedures, and in extremely rare circumstances in Indiana and Missouri – violates the Constitution; and (4) whether the Constitution prohibits imposition of a death sentence in a case in which the jury was instructed that its sentencing determination would be advisory or a recommendation.