Recent Decisions

2021 Term Decisions of Interest to Capital Habeas Practitioners

Hemphill v. New York, 595 U.S. ___ (Jan. 20, 2022).  In non-capital murder case where the defense argued that a third party was the actual shooter of the gun whose stray bullet struck and killed a 2-year-old-child, the defendant's Confrontation Clause rights were violated by the admission of portions of the transcript from the unavailable third party's plea allocution in which he admitted to possession of a different caliber gun than the one that caused the victim's death.  It was not the judge’s role to decide that the unconfronted evidence was reasonably necessary to correct a misleading impression allegedly created by the defense case. "Such inquiries are antithetical to the Confrontation Clause."