Monday, June 14, 2010

Holland v. Florida

Monday, June 14, 2010

AP reports, "Court: Death row case goes back to lower court."

The Supreme Court said Monday lower courts should look again at an appeal from a death row inmate in Florida whose lawyer missed the deadline for asking federal courts to stop his execution.

The high court overturned an appeals court decision saying Albert Holland had missed his chance to get a federal review of his death sentence because his lawyer did not file his paperwork on time.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the only way the deadline could be extended is if a defendant can prove that his lawyer showed "bad faith, dishonesty, divided loyalty, mental impairment, or so forth" instead of just being "grossly negligent."

"In our view, this standard is too rigid," said Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the 7-2 judgment for the court.

The court sent the case back to the appeal court.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

The Holland v. Florida opinion is in Adobe .pdf format. The ScotusWiki file, with all briefing, is here.

Tony Mauro writes, "Another Bilski-Free Day at the Supreme Court," for the BLT.

In Holland v. Florida, the Court ruled 7-2 that the one-year statute of limitation for habeas filings under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 can be tolled -- delayed or paused -- under certain circumstances, including egregious attorney misconduct.

The Court also agreed to review Collin v. Pinholster in it's next term, which will begin in October. This is a California death penalty case from the Ninth Circuit.

Earlier coverage of Holland v. Florida begins here.

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