Friday, June 17, 2011

Four New Supreme Court Decisions

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued opinions in four criminal cases:

In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court has broadened use of the Miranda warning for suspects, extending it to children questioned by police in school. By a 5-to-4 vote, the court said for the first time that age must be considered in determining whether a suspect is aware of his or her rights.

In Tapia v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a federal judge cannot impose a longer prison sentence than what the sentencing guidelines permit simply to promote rehabilitation.

In Davis v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of an Alabama man by a vote of 7-2, though the justices agreed the search that produced the incriminating evidence was illegal. The Court refused to disturb the firearm conviction, declaring that at the time the search was conducted, police relied in good faith on existing law.

In Bond v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that citizens, not just states, has standing to challenge the validity of the statute (federal laws implementing the chemical weapons treaty) on the ground that it infringes on the powers reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment.

NPR Online also offers commentary on the opinions.

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