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Case preview: Justices will hear argument on whether unanimous jury ruling applies retroactively

In April, the Supreme Court ruled in Ramos v. Louisiana that the Sixth Amendment establishes a right to a unanimous jury that applies in both federal and state courts. On Wednesday in Edwards v. Vannoy, the justices will hear argument on whether inmates whose convictions became final before that decision can now take advantage of it. Although only two states, Louisiana and Oregon, have allowed non-unanimous jury verdicts in recent years, those states say that a ruling for the inmates could “seriously strain” their systems by reopening many years’ worth of convictions.

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to an “impartial jury.” When it and the other amendments in the Bill of Rights were originally enacted, they were interpreted as applying only to the federal government – not to the states. Since then, however, the Supreme Court has ruled that some, and eventually most, of the

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Lawyer is awarded $1 in attorney fees, matching jury award in case of snatched pen

Tort Law

Image from Shutterstock.com.

Civil rights lawyer Jeffrey Rothman’s lawsuit against the city of New York and two police officers wasn’t a total loss.

In a decision filed Nov. 30, Chief U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York awarded Rothman $1 in attorney fees, matching the $1 award that he had received from a jury in a lawsuit stemming from rude treatment and a snatched pen. He received an additional $862 in costs.

The New York Post and the New York Daily News have coverage.

“Once upon a time,” McMahon wrote, “we urged people not to make too much of real but petty grievances by saying, ‘Don’t make a federal case out of that.’ This lawsuit was a violation of that principle writ

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Justices put off case over access to Russia probe grand jury

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is putting off upcoming arguments about whether Congress should have access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives had asked the court to put off arguments scheduled for Dec. 2, and the court on Friday agreed, removing the case from its calendar.

Douglas Letter, the top lawyer for the House had told the court in a written filing that the House Judiciary Committee that takes office in January “will have to determine whether it wishes to continue pursuing the application for the grand-jury materials that gave rise to this case.” Letter noted that President Donald Trump’s defeat in his bid for reelection could affect the committee’s decision.

The material initially was sought in the summer of 2019 as part of the committee’s investigation of possible misconduct by Trump, including whether he obstructed Mueller’s investigation.

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House asks justices to put off case over Russia grand jury

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is asking the Supreme Court to put off upcoming arguments about whether Congress should have access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee that takes office in January “will have to determine whether it wishes to continue pursuing the application for the grand-jury materials that gave rise to this case,” Douglas Letter, the top lawyer for the House said in a written filing Tuesday. Letter noted that President Donald Trump’s defeat in his bid for reelection could affect the committee’s decision.

The case is scheduled to be argued on Dec. 2.


The material initially was sought in the summer of 2019 as part of the committee’s investigation of possible misconduct by Trump, including whether he obstructed Mueller’s investigation. Mueller’s 448-page report, issued in April 2019, “stopped short” of reaching conclusions about Trump’s conduct

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Maryland courts cancel jury trials again as coronavirus cases spike

Now prosecutors, defense attorneys and advocates alike are concerned about how this setback could further slow the mechanisms of the criminal legal system.

The reversion to Phase 3, which is outlined in five administrative orders from Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, will go into effect Monday and last through Dec. 31. Under the new guidelines, grand juries can continue at the discretion of administrative judges and new grand juries can be empaneled.

Jury trials that were set to begin in that time period will be rescheduled, the orders say. Trials that have already empaneled a jury may continue.

All other jury trials are expected to resume Jan. 4.

“The health and safety of the public, judges, and Judiciary staff remains a top priority, and we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 heath emergency and adjust Judiciary operations as necessary,” Barbera said in a news release. “We

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Boost for family of young man stabbed in nightclub in push for jury law change

Ryan’s father Adrian, centre, with family friend Jason Connon, left and private investigator Russ Winfield

Relatives of Ryan Passey met with Justice Minister Alex Chalk last month to explain why they believe juries should give reasons for their decision in the event of perceived “perverse” verdicts.

Mr Chalk has now promised to take the matter further by raising it with the Lord Chancellor, providing a shot in the arm for the campaigning family.

They insist they have got no justice for Mr Passey, 24, who was knifed in the former Chicago’s bar in Stourbridge in 2017. They are in the course of launching civil proceedings against Kobe Murray, who was cleared of murder. He admitted stabbing Mr Passey, of Quarry Bank, but said he did so in self-defence.

In court trials where a jury’s verdict is felt to be unusual, they believe members should have to explain their decision to

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Juror in Breonna Taylor case said grand jury didn’t agree fatal shooting was justified

A grand juror who heard evidence in the Breonna Taylor probe said Tuesday that the grand jury didn’t agree that her fatal shooting was justified, a disclosure that came after a Kentucky judge ordered records in the proceedings released to show if “publicly elected officials are being honest.”

In a statement, “Grand Juror #1,” as the person has been identified by lawyer Kevin Glogower, said that the only charge presented during the proceedings was wanton endangerment.

Former Louisville Police Det. Brett Hankison was indicted last month on that charge for firing shots into the apartment of Taylor’s neighbors on March 13.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office investigated the fatal shooting, has called the use of force justified.

Taylor, 26, was shot to death after officers with a no-knock warrant broke down her door during a narcotics investigation.

Taylor’s boyfriend, who fired once at police, has said he believed

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