Cert Petitions Granted with Decision Pending

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the following cases involving issues of interest to capital habeas litigators:

Banister v. Davis, 18-6943 (cert. petition granted June 24, 2019)
(case below: unpublished order (5th Cir.))

Question presented:

Whether and under what circumstances a timely Rule 59(e) motion should be recharacterized as a second or successive habeas petition under Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U. S. 524 (2005).

Click here to view the certiorari petition.

McKinney v. Arizona, 18-1109 (cert. petition granted June 10, 2019)
(case below: 426 P.3d 1204 (Az.))

Questions presented:

(1) Whether the Arizona Supreme Court was required to apply current law when weighing mitigating and aggravating evidence to determine whether a death sentence is warranted.  (2)  Whether the correction of error under Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104 (1982), requires resentencing.

Click here to view the certiorari petition.

Kahler v. Kansas, 18-6135 (cert. petition granted March 18, 2019)
(case below: 410 P.3d 105 (Kansas))

Question presented:

Do the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to abolish the insanity defense?

Click here to view the certiorari petition.  

Ramos v. Louisiana, 18-5924 (cert. petition granted March 18, 2019)
(case below: 231 So.3d 44 (La. App.))

Question presented:

Whether the Fourteenth Amendment fully incorporates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of a unanimous verdict?

Click here to view the certiorari petition.  

Mathena v. Malvo, 18-217 (cert. petition granted March 18, 2019)
(case below: 893 F.3d 265 (4th Cir.))

Question presented:

     In Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), this Court held that “mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’ ” Id. at 465. Four years later, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016), the Court held that “Miller announced a substantive rule of constitutional law” that, under Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989), must be given “retroactive effect” in cases where direct review was complete when Miller was decided. Montgomery, 136 S. Ct. at 736.

     The question presented is:

     Did the Fourth Circuit err in concluding—in direct conflict with Virginia’s highest court and other courts—that a decision of this Court (Montgomery) addressing whether a new constitutional rule announced in an earlier decision (Miller) applies retroactively on collateral review may properly be interpreted as modifying and substantively expanding the very rule whose retroactivity was in question?

Click here to view the warden's certiorari petition. 

Carpenter v. Murphy, 17-1107 (cert. petition granted May 21, 2018)
(case below: 866 F.3d 1164 (10th Cir.))

Question presented:

Whether the 1866 territorial boundaries of the Creek Nation within the former Indian Territory of eastern Oklahoma constitute an "Indian reservation" today under 18 U.S.C. § 1151(a).

Click here to view the warden's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of International Municipal Lawyers Association, et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association, et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the States of Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and Paul R. LePage, Governor of Maine in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Environmental Federation of Oklahoma, Inc., et al. in support of the warden.  Click here to view the amicus brief of the United States in support of the warden.  Click here to view Murphy's merits brief.  Click here to view the amicus brief of David Boren, et al. in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of National Congress of American Indians in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Historians, Legal Scholars, and Cherokee Nation in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Muscogee (Creek) Nation in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the amicus brief of Former United States Attorneys in support of Murphy. Click here to view the amicus brief of National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, et al. in support of Murphy.  Click here to view the warden's reply brief.  The joint motion of Murphy and Moscogee (Creek) Nation for leave for Moscogee (Creek) Nation to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument was granted.  The Solicitor General's motion for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument was granted.  Argument was heard on November 27, 2018.