The Champion

January /February 2007 , Page 30 

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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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