Supreme Court Review-Preview-Overview

An up-to-date outline of Supreme Court criminal cases
is available here. It covers pending cert grants and decisions from the past and current Terms. Other "cites" of interest are available here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Deference to State Court Under AEDPA

In Brown v. Payton, No. 03-1029 (March 22, 2005), the Supreme Court held that, under the deferential AEDPA standard for federal review of state decisions, the California Supreme Court did not render a decision contrary to, or unreasonably applying, federal law, when it declined to find a constitutional violation in the prosecutor’s incorrect statement in closing argument in the death phase of the trial that a jury could not take account in mitigation of anything that happened after the crime, i.e, the defendant’s post-offense rehabilitation. The trial court gave a standard § (k) instruction that "any other" extenuating factor could be considered.The Court noted that in Boyde v. California, it had upheld the § k instruction, and that the California Supreme Court had relied on Boyde in affirming the defendant’s sentence. The found that the California Supreme Court had applied Boyde to a different set of facts and could not therefore, under AEDPA, be found to be contrary to established federal law.