Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday morning

Hope everyone enjoyed their spring break. It's back to work, and here's what's up:

1. Barry Bonds' trial starts today. Apparently, jail isn't at stake, but his legacy is: a jury will be asked to decide whether baseball's home run king set his historic mark while using a long list of banned drugs.
For Bonds, 46, who has not played baseball since he was indicted, the stakes are high - even though most experts doubt he will face prison if convicted.

In 2008, Bonds' trial judge, Susan Illston, sentenced two defendants who were convicted of lying to authorities about steroids in sports to home confinement, not prison. That sets a baseline for sentencing Bonds if he is convicted, experts say.

The trial represents a chance for Bonds to repair a reputation badly tarnished by his association with the BALCO steroid scandal, and, perhaps, to secure a place in baseball history that might otherwise be denied him.

If Bonds is acquitted, his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame "go way up," said former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent. "But if he gets convicted, it's the end of the discussion for at least 30 years."

Roger Clemens, who is on trial next, will be watching this one closely.

2. Interesting case being argued this morning before the Supremes, Davis v. U.S.. The issue: The good-faith exemption to the exclusionary rule allows evidence collected in violation of the Fourth Amendment to be admitted at trial if the police officers conducting the search acted in good faith. Does the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule apply to a search that was authorized by precedent at the time of the search but is subsequently ruled unconstitutional?

The case came out of the 11th Circuit, and Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy will be arguing for Mr. Davis. ScotusBlog has great analysis of the case here.

3. You can bet on one thing in Davis -- Justice Alito will vote with the government. From the Sunday NYT: Alito is the least likely justice to show a glimmer of concern for the rights of criminal defendants. He has ruled for the defense in only 17 percent of the criminal cases he has heard since he joined the court, putting him to the right of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas — and every other justice of the past 65 years other than William Rehnquist...

Strangely, the title of the piece is called: "Mysterious Justice." Nothing mysterious about Alito -- he's the most predictably conservative judge on the Court.

4. There's always a lot of talk about how judges should write opinions. Rumpole doesn't like the Judge Selya style of opinion writing (Selya's interview on How Appealing is entertaining). I wonder what he thinks of this.


Rumpole said...

OBJECTION! FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE. I never said I don't like that way of writing an opinion. Never. Let me go on the record and say I would rather read 100 of Judge Hirsch's opinions that ten "motion granted" or "motion denied".

I merely poked and prodded and pried open the opinion for discussion. I note you have not responded to defend the opinion. Most Struthian of you. Get your head out of the sand and take a side.

Anonymous said...


Congrats on coaching your Butler team to another Sweet 16. How you find the time to coach a college basketball team and practice law full time is beyond me. I think cloning may be involved.

Anonymous said...

Who else thinks Rumpole is acting like a big baby? So a new kid is on the blogging block-- so what?
Why write a post about it? He's promoting the man. Roy Black should be grateful for all the hits he's about to get.

Anonymous said...

Roy black is the man.