By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 11, September 2017

In re Coley, Nos. 17-3071/3815 (Siler, Sutton) (Per Curiam) (Merritt, dissenting).

In re Coley, Nos. 17-3071/3815 (Siler, Sutton) (Per Curiam) (Merritt, dissenting). The petitioner is on death row in Ohio, and filed a second habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, arguing that Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), announced a new rule of constitutional law requiring juries to make specific findings about mitigating evidence during capital sentencing. He argued that in light of Hurst, Ohio’s capital-sentencing scheme is unconstitutional. The district court transferred the petition to the Sixth… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 08, September 2017

Hand v. Houk, Case No. 14-3148 (BOGGS, Clay, Rogers).

Hand v. Houk, Case No. 14-3148 (BOGGS, Clay, Rogers). The defendant-appellant is on death row in Ohio after being convicted of two counts of aggravated murder stemming from a decades-long scheme to hire a friend to kill his wives in order to collect their insurance policies. The opinion sets out the detailed facts of the investigation and procedural history, which ultimately ended with the defendant losing on direct appeal and state post-conviction relief. In 2007, the defendant filed a writ… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 07, September 2017

United States v. Lanier et al., Case Nos. 16-6655/6657 (MOORE, Stranch, Donald).

United States v. Lanier et al., Case Nos. 16-6655/6657 (MOORE, Stranch, Donald). The defendants-appellants were charged with federal fraud crimes. During jury deliberations, a juror contacted a state prosecutor who was a social acquaintance not involved with the federal prosecution to report a “problem” with the jury deliberations. The state prosecutor told the juror that they could not discuss the deliberations, and to report any problems to the district-court judge. No juror reported any problems to the court, but the… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 07, September 2017

Zappone et al. v. United States et al., Case No. 16-4111 (COOK, Batchelder, Gibbons).

Zappone et al. v. United States et al., Case No. 16-4111 (COOK, Batchelder, Gibbons). The Internal Revenue Service executed search-and-seizure warrants on the plaintiffs-appellants’ business during an investigation for tax evasion and seized a large amount of cash from the business’s safe. The plaintiffs contended that the IRS agents illegally pocketed a portion of the seized money, and filed administrative claims to the IRS seeking the amount allegedly stolen. Plaintiffs submitted executed power-of-attorney forms with their claims. About six months… Read more