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Supreme Court adds two new cases to docket

The US Supreme Court [official website] agreed [order list, PDF] Monday to rule on a case addressing the legal standard for assessing whether an individual is mentally retarded in order to determine that person's eligibility for the death penalty. In Hall v. Florida [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will decide "whether the Florida scheme for identifying mentally retarded defendants in capital cases violates Atkins v. Virginia [text, PDF]," a case in which the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded individuals. Petitioner, Freddie Lee Hall, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 1978. The judgment was later affirmed by the Supreme Court of Florida [official website].

In Robers v. United States [docket] the court will rule on an issue regarding restitution as a penalty for bank loan fraud. The court will address "whether a defendant—who has fraudulently obtained a loan and thus owes restitution for the loan under 18 USC § 3663A(b)(1)(B) [text]—returns 'any part' of the loan money by giving the lenders the collateral that secures the money." The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held [opinion] that the property referred to in the act means the property stolen, thereby determining that collateral does not qualify as "any part" of the stolen property.

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