As reported here at SCOTUSblog, the Supreme Court this morning kick off a week that has lots of criminal justice issues afoot with certiorari grants in two capital habeas cases: Ryan v. Gonzales (SCOTUSblog case page here) and Tibbales v. Carter.
According to the folks at SCOTUSblog, "Ryan is about appointment of counsel for indigent capital defendants" and Tibbales concerns whether "capital prisoners have a right to competence in habeas proceedings, and can a court order an indefinite stay of habeas proceedings." Based on these descriptions, I surmise neither of these cases are likely to be blockbusters or even to have much impact outside of the technical world of federal habeas process. But the cases may end up providing the newer Justices with an opportunity to articulate their views on just how different death penalty all and practice should be.
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