Criminal Cases Dominate In Early ’05 Court Docket

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The Supreme Court already has agreed to hear 35 cases in the term beginning in October, reports Legal Times. "One thing that strikes me about this upcoming term is the high number of criminal cases," says Georgetown University law professor Richard Lazarus. The most prominent one may be Roper v. Simmons, which tests whether the death penalty for juvenile defendants constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth and 14th amendments. The Court declined to prohibit such executions in 1989, but will revisit the issue to rule on whether 16-and 17-year-old defendants may constitutionally be put . . .

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