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Supreme Court 2005-2006 Review
By G. Paul McCormick
In recent years, we have become accustomed to blockbuster cases being
decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although there were no blockbuster
cases decided in the 2005 - 2006 term, several important cases were
handed down. In two high-publicity cases, the Court struck down the
military tribunal procedures for Guantanamo Bay detainees and also
upheld Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. In less publicized but more
important cases, the Court revisited Crawford to determine what statements are “testimonial” in nature and also readdressed Apprendi/Blakely, finding that non-compliance is subject to harmless error analysis.
There were four capital punishment decisions and five cases focusing
on search and seizure. One of the more significant cases of the term
grappled with the definition of insanity and also whether a defendant
could present mental condition evidence as bearing upon his capacity to
form mens rea. Surprisingly, the Court found that a federal defendant cannot wai
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