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Supreme Court takes speedy trial, First Amendment, prosecutor immunity cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in three cases. In Bloate v. United States [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the Court will consider whether time granted to prepare pretrial motions is excludable under 18 USC § 3161(h)(1) [text], which lists exceptions to the requirement that a criminal defendant be tried within 70 days of indictment or his first appearance in court. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld [opinion, PDF] Bloate's conviction, ruling that time granted to file pretrial motions is not excludable. Other circuits are split on the issue.

In United States v. Stevens [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the Court will consider whether 18 USC § 48 [text], which bans depictions of animal cruelty, violates the First Amendment. The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held [opinion, PDF] that the law illegally restricts speech.

In Pottawattamie County v. McGhee [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the Court will consider:

Whether a prosecutor may be subjected to a civil trial and potential damages for a wrongful conviction and incarceration where the prosecutor allegedly (1) violated a criminal defendant’s "substantive due process" rights by procuring false testimony during the criminal investigation, and then (2) introduced that same testimony against the criminal defendant at trial.
The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held [opinion, PDF] that prosecutors were not protected from suit by absolute immunity.

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