Monday, September 17, 2007

Fields v. Brown (9th Cir. - Sept. 10, 2007)

Nothing at all from the California Court of Appeal today (at least as of this afternoon). And a marginally interesting case on the political question doctrine from the Ninth Circuit, but although I think they're being a wuss on this one, and would have preferred they reached the merits, I've otherwise got nothing special to say about the matter.

That said, on an entirely different topic, if you only read one death penalty case this entire year, I'd strongly recommend this one.

It's got everything you'd want -- on both sides -- of the debate. Horrible crimes committed by a terrible person whom most people would conclude totally deserves to die. But also error by human, and flawed, jurors, on multiple different levels. And application of a plethora of procedural constraints upon death penalty (and other criminal) claims.

It's going to take a little time, as the opinions top out at over a hundred single-spaced pages, and include three separate missives. But each one is incredibly good. As well as unambiguously enlightening.

Unless you're an unwavering partisan on the issue, this one will make you think. It may well not change your mind. Few opinions do. But it'll definitely make you smarter, and more informed, on the issue.