News Roundup

A number of interesting news stories have appeared over the past week or so:

1. In the aftermath of the Greg Taylor case, the News and Observer reports that the SBI “will examine thousands of old cases analyzed in its forensic lab two decades ago to look for crucial evidence that may have been withheld from defendants.” The AP reports that director of the lab’s accrediting body has made critical comments about the lab’s work in the Taylor case.

2. A former Johnston County prosecutor pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and received three years in prison in connection with a DWI dismissal scheme. Several defense lawyers and an employee of the clerk’s officer previously pleaded guilty. This sad and disturbing case now appears to be closed. The News and Observer article is here.

3. The next chapter in the Crawford saga will soon be written. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Michigan v. Bryant, which asks “whether preliminary inquiries of a wounded citizen concerning the perpetrator and circumstances of the shooting are []testimonial,” or whether the citizen’s statements are nontestimonial remarks made in connection with an ongoing emergency. Look for a post from my colleague Jessie Smith after the case is heard and decided.

4. Speaking of the Supreme Court, Tom Goldstein at SCOTUSblog responds to the speculation about multiple Supreme Court vacancies with his own view. The bottom line? “John Paul Stevens very likely will retire. Ruth Bader Ginsburg definitely will not.” And Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the “prohibitive front-runner” for the job.

5. In a case that has some shades of the Duke lacrosse debacle, the New York Post reports that a woman who falsely accused a man of raping her as an excuse for ditching her girlfriends during a night out has been sentenced to one to three years in prison. The man she accused, who spent four years behind bars as a result, said: “I wish her the best of luck. Jail isn’t easy.” The story has a number of strange and interesting twists, and is worth a read. (Hat tip: Volokh Conspiracy)

6. On the lighter side, The Smoking Gun reports that, “[i]n a bold and bizarre attempt to destroy evidence seized during a federal raid, a New York City man grabbed a flash drive and swallowed the data storage device while in the custody of Secret Service agents.” No word yet on whether the drive, since recovered, is still working. (Hat tip: Gizmodo.)

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