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Archive April 2022

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Brown v. Davenport: Federal habeas petitioners must satisfy both prejudice tests under Brecht and AEDPA

Federal habeas petitioners must satisfy the prejudice tests in both Brecht and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in order to obtain relief, the U.S. Supreme Court held April 21 Brown v. Davenport. Satisfying just one test is not enough.

Public Defenseless: Podcast with Keisha Hudson

Today on the Public Defenseless Podcast I spoke with Keisha Hudson, Chief Defender of the Philadelphia Defender Association. Take a listen to this conversation to learn about the ins and outs of Pennsylvania Public Defense and what makes Philadelphia standout as an example of what public defense could be in the state. 

Wooden v. U.S.: Multiple convictions from single criminal episode do not trigger enhancement under ACCA

Multiple convictions arising from a single criminal episode do not trigger enhanced penalties under the Armed Career Criminal Act because the convictions did not occur on separate “occasions,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 7 in Wooden v. United States.

Public Defenseless covers... trust.

In the short time that I have hosted this podcast, I've noticed a consistent theme: those who have any interaction with the criminal system and public defense very often have little to no trust in public defense. Whether it is shown through calling them "Public Pretenders" or simply viewing them as a part of the problem, it is essential trust is built back if reform is going to come.

U.S. v. Zubaydah and FBI v. Fazaga: State secrets privilege prevents disclosure of national security information

The Supreme Court upheld use of the “state secrets privilege” to allow the Government to prevent disclosure of information it claimed would harm national security, in a pair of cases decided in early March.

Today on Public Defenseless, a chat with Stephen Hanlon...

Join me today as I sit down with Stephen Hanlon, an expert in the way data can be used to benefit public defense. After decades of work in public interest law, Lawyer Hanlon had his eyes opened to the way in which public defenders were left by the wayside around the country.

U.S. v. Tsarnaev: District court did not abuse discretion in limiting general media question during voir dire, and excluding “confusing” mitigating evidence in penalty phase

The district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to ask prospective jurors what facts they had learned from the media in the Boston Marathon bombing case, the U.S. Supreme Court held March 4 in United States v. Tsarnaev. Nor did the district court abuse its discretion in the penalty phase by excluding hearsay evidence that the defendant-Tsarnaev’s brother had committed a prior murder, which Tsarnaev sought to introduce as mitigation to show he was under his brother’s domination, the Court held.

Hemphill v. New York: Confrontation Clause bars testimonial hearsay even if necessary to correct misleading impression created by defense

Admission of an unavailable witness’ guilty plea transcript violated the defendant’s confrontation rights, even if the transcript corrected a “misleading impression” created by the defendant’s evidence, the U.S. Supreme Court held January 20 in Hemphill v. New York.

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