Wednesday, October 21, 2009

US Supreme Court Vacates Seventh Circuit's Opinion for Failure to Consider All of Death Row Inmate's Arguments

 The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Corcoran v. Indiana, 558 U.S. __ (2009), to death row 
inmate Joseph Corcoran in his appeal from the Seventh Circuit's reinstatement of his death sentence. 
Corcoran's habeas corpus Sixth Amendment challenge to his death sentence was granted by the 
district court but overturned by the Seventh Circuit.

In granting Corcoran's Habeas Corpus Petition, the district court stated Corcoran's other arguments 
against his death sentence were rendered moot. On appeal by Indiana, the Seventh Circuit failed to 
provide any explanation for disposing of Corcoran's other arguments, which included claims that the 
trial court committed various errors at sentencing, Indiana's capital sentence statute is unconsti-
tutional, prosecutorial misconduct at sentencing, and that Corcoran should not be put to death 
because he is mentally ill. The Supreme Court concluded the Seventh Circuit erred by not considering 
or explaining its disposal of Corcoran's other arguments, and remanded the case for resentencing.

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