Ninth Circuit Addresses Constitutionality of California Death Penalty

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.


SLLC Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Pretrial Detainee Excessive Force Case

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


Monday Morning Review: Local Governments in the Federal Appellate Courts

Here are published decisions involving local governments from the federal appellate courts from December 16, 2013, through December 20, 2013:

Sixth Circuit

Seventh Circuit

Eighth Circuit Continue reading