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Supreme Court takes identity fraud case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in the case of Flores-Figueroa v. United States(08-108) [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. The Court will consider whether the government must show that the defendant had actual knowledge that the means of identification he used belonged to another person in order to prove aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1) [text]. The Justice Department [official website] has used this law to bring aggravated identity theft cases against illegal immigrants, many of whom do not know that their fake identifications belong to someone else.

Also Monday, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the capital case of Walker v. Georgia (08-5385) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], in which the Court was asked to consider whether Georgia's current administration of the state's death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment standard, prohibiting arbitrariness and discrimination. The petitioner alleged that the Georgia Supreme Court failed to conduct meaningful proportionality review, and to enforce reporting requirements. Justice John Paul Stevens issued a statement [PDF] in which he emphasized that the Court’s denial has no precedential effect and said that the petitioner’s submission was supported by the Court's prior opinions evaluating the constitutionality of the Georgia statute. Justice Clarence Thomas concurred [PDF] in the denial of certiorari.

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