Supreme Court to Examine Insanity Defense, Need for Jury Unanimity

from The Wall Street Journal,

Cases for next term to consider key questions of criminal law, including juvenile sentencing.

The Supreme Court said Monday it would consider whether two pillars of criminal law—the insanity defense and the rule that only unanimous juries may convict—are required by the Constitution. The court also agreed to decide cases involving two other questions of criminal law. One is how recent decisions limiting punishment of juvenile offenders apply retroactively, an issue raised by Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo in challenging his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. It said it would also decide whether states can prosecute crimes based on false information entered on federal immigration forms. All four cases will be heard in the court’s next term, which begins Oct. 7.

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