DEFENDER SERVICES OFFICE
TRAINING DIVISION





The Defender Services Office Training Division furthers the right to effective assistance of counsel by providing training and other resources to attorneys appointed under the Criminal Justice Act.





    April 01, 2015
    This Week's Actions by the Supreme Court: Opinions on Electronic Monitoring and IAC, and Cert Grants on Death-Sentencing Proceedings

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion in Grady v. North Carolina (No. 14-593), addressing whether North Carolina's electronic monitoring program constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. The monitoring program requires those convicted of sex offenses to wear an ankle bracelet tracking their movement for the rest of their lives. While the Court held that "a State. . . conducts a search when it attaches a device to a person's body, without consent, for the purpose of tracking that individual's movements," the Court declined to decide whether or not such a search is unreasonable.

    The Court also issued a per curiam opinion in the habeas case of Woods v. Donald (No.14-618), and granted cert to review death-sentencing proceedings in three state cases, Kansas v. Carr (Nos. 14-450 and 14-449), and Kansas v. Gleason (No. 14-452).

    Full story

    March 25, 2015
    Supreme to Determine Whether Miller v. Alabama Applies Retroactively

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert in Montgomery v. Louisiana (No. 14-280).  The issue presented is whether Louisiana improperly denied retroactive application of the constitutional ban on automatic life-without-parole sentences for children, as set forth in Miller v. Alabama



    March 10, 2015
    Supreme Court to Examine Jury's Role in Death Penalty Sentencing

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert in Hurst v. Florida (No. 14-7505), to decide whether Florida's death sentencing scheme violates the Sixth Amendment or the Eighth Amendment in light of Ring v. Arizona,  536 U.S. 584 (2002) (applying Apprendi's reasoning in the capital sentencing context).  For more on the case, see this SCOTUSblog post.



    March 03, 2015
    Supreme Court to Rule on Conspiracy to Extort

    Yesterday the Supreme Court granted cert in Ocasio v. United States (No. 14-361) to decide whether a conspiracy to commit extortion requires that the conspirators agree to obtain property from someone outside the conspiracy. 



    February 25, 2015
    Supreme Court Holds That a Fish Is Not a "Tangible Object" Under 18 U.S.C. §1519

    Today the Court issued an opinion in Yates v. United States, in which it reversed the judgment of the Eleventh Circuit.  In the plurality opinion Justice Ginsburg wrote, "Mindful that in Sarbanes-Oxley, Congress trained its attention on corporate and accounting deception and cover-ups, we conclude that a matching construction of §1519 is in order: A tangible object captured by §1519, we hold, must be one used to record or preserve information."  For an analysis of the opinion see this SCOTUSblog post.



 

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