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Drug Offense Removability Uphold

Immigration Law consequences of criminal activity

U.S. Supreme Court

-Criminal Law and Procedure-
State court’s confirm of jury instructions and forms that made clear that for jury to recommend a death sentence,
Jury had to find each of the factors exceed any lessen circumstances,
The jury had to determine the existence of each individual lessen factor
Was not contrary to and was not an difficult application of clearly accepted federal law.
Defense counsel’s allegedly deficient closing argument was not harmful to defendant where government had graphic evidence of multiple murders,
Defendant’s confessions,
Defense counsel referred to the evidence and plead to the jurors’ sense of humanity; Defense experts’ full testimony regarding accused mental illness was fresh in the jurors’ minds; And defendant did not describe any other reduce factors counsel could have mentioned.
Smith v. Spisak – filed January 12, 2010
Cite as 08-724

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-Civil Procedure-
A order entered after a mandate
Has liquefy is void at that time there was no mandate to be change.
A district court modify a mandate to expand or vitiate rights parties have already accrued under an order.
U.S. Philips Corporation v. KBC Bank N.V. – filed January 12, 2010
Cite as 08-56296
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-Criminal Law and Procedure-

State’s admitted failure to disclose impeachment material
Relating to the credibility of a prosecution witness
Was not prejudicial of extensive impeachment material
Already available to defendant and where materials did not provide an independent basis for impeaching that witness.
Defendant’s admission that counsel was “diligent and thorough” in attempting to locate a potential witness was fatal to his claim that failure to locate the witness constituted ineffective assistance.
Evidence that defendant was in possession of victim’s property,
Described victim to authorities, and told a third party he would deny being near the scene of the crime if questioned and asked third party to destroy victim’s credit cards–taken as a whole, was sufficient to allow a rational jury to return a conviction for first-degree murder.
Where record indicated that defendant was not successful in bringing out certain relevant mitigating evidence,
Absent a clear indication in the record that state court applied an unconstitutional nexus test,
Either as a method of assessing the weight of mitigating evidence,
Or as an unconstitutional screening mechanism to prevent consideration of any evidence, state court did not commit constitutional error.
State courts imposing or reviewing capital sentences are not required to provide an exhaustive discussion of all mitigating evidence
They reviewed such evidence.
Evidence of defendant’s acquisition and use of victim’s property rationally supported application of a pecuniary gain aggravating factor; where state courts determined that single aggravating factor was sufficient to sustain death penalty under the facts of the case, it was unnecessary to review challenges to other aggravating factors for federal habeas purposes.
Schad v. Ryan – filed September 11, 2009, amended January 12, 2010
Cite as 07-99005
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-Immigration Law-
Board of Immigration Appeals did not end in holding that petitioner’s conviction under California Health and Safety Code Sec. 11379(a) for selling a controlled substance qualified as a basis for removability under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)–which makes removable any alien “convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any Law…of a State…relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21)”–where petitioner did not dispute that substance involved in conviction was methamphetamine, a controlled substance.
Hernandez-Aguilar v. Holder – filed November 25, 2009, amended January 12, 2010