In Jones v. Davis, the Ninth Circuit is considering whether California’s death penalty scheme violates the Eighth Amendment because it is arbitrarily imposed and plagued by systemic delays. In a hearing before a three-judge panel earlier this week, the Court had tough questions for the California Attorney General’s office, which is defending California’s death penalty and challenging the district court’s grant of habeas relief. The AG’s argument focuses less on the systemic issues address by the Appellee and numerous amici, including the Innocence Project, and more on the specifics of habeas procedure. The case is being closely watched as it may have implications well beyond California.
Imagine having to operate two jails: one for pretrial detainees and one for post-conviction detainees. This could be the practical effect of Kingsley v. Hendrickson, depending on how the Supreme Court rules. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case, which IMLA joined, arguing that the same or similar standard should apply to excessive force claims brought by pretrial detainees and post-conviction detainees to avoid this result. Continue reading
Here are published decisions involving local governments from the federal appellate courts from December 16, 2013, through December 20, 2013:
- Hocker v. Pikeville City Police Dep’t, No. 13-5341 (Dec. 17, 2013) (affirming that no constitutional violation occurred in 42 U.S.C. 1983 action based on officers’ alleged use of excessive force).
- Fluker v. County of Kankakee, No. 13-2247 (Dec. 20, 2013) (affirming dismissal of suit against County and officers arising out of auto accident that occurred during transport of prisoner, under Prisoner Litigation Reform Act).
Eighth Circuit Continue reading