Can we square the invocation of evolving standards of decency with the recognized fact that the criminal justice system in the United States is, in general, far more punitive than it once was? I think that we can, if we allow for a fuller recognition
In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without parole for juvenile homicide offenders. Despite Justice Kagan’s protestations, the Court was not eliminating an outlying vestige of once common, brutal punishment,
United States v. Pleau raises legal questions that deserve more attention than the case is likely to receive. The case can actually be seen as being about the location of the primary police power in the American system of constitutional federalism, and it exposes the
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court held that police officers do not need to read prison inmates their Miranda rights when questioning them about events unrelated to their current incarceration. The prisoner in this case was questioned without being read his Miranda rights, and during
[Update3 - 10PM February 8] Edwin Hart Turner was executed at 7:21PM EST after receiving a lethal injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Turner, represented by attorneys from the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, had filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme
In the upcoming weeks, the legislators of my home state of North Carolina will be faced with a dilemma: how does a government compensate victims of a historical atrocity that was deemed legal at the time? At the national level, this question is often asked
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held on Wednesday that a “ministerial exception” barred a parochial school teacher from pursuing an employment discrimination claim against the church that runs the school. This opinion dramatically limits the scope of protection provided to religious employees
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Setser v. United States. The cases addresses whether a federal court has authority to order a federal sentence to run consecutively with a yet-to-be-imposed state sentence.
In 2007, petitioner Monroe Setser was sentenced in federal court
This past Monday, Fourth Amendment watchers began gathering at the Supreme Court on the eve of oral argument in United States v. Jones. Narrowly, the case was to resolve a circuit split on whether law enforcement can surreptitiously place a GPS device on a car,
Members of the Supreme Court seemed skeptical last Wednesday when asked to establish a new constitutional rule prohibiting the use of unreliable eyewitness testimony at criminal trials. Under existing law, unreliable eyewitness testimony is excludable only when the source of unreliability stems from police misconduct.