When the Supreme Court met this morning, in addition to issuing opinions in three cases, the Court agreed to examine seven more cases in its next term, which begins in October 2008. Two of those are of interest here.
The Court also agreed to consider Harbison v. Bell, which will examine whether there is a right to federally appointed and funded counsel to pursue state executive clemency under a 2005 federal law.
AP reports, "Court to rule in Tennessee inmate's appeal."
The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether poor death row inmates seeking mercy from state officials have a right to lawyers paid for by federal taxpayers.
The justices will consider that question next term in the case of Edward Jerome Harbison, who was convicted in the 1983 beating death of an elderly woman in Tennessee. Federal appeals courts have taken different positions on the issue, making the case a good one for the court to resolve, the Bush administration said.
The administration, though, wants the justices to decide that federal law for indigent capital defendants does not extend taxpayer support to state clemency efforts.
Seven cases are yet to be ruled on, including Kennedy v. Louisiana. The Court will issue more opinions on Wednesday morning. It's likely that there will be one additional day in the term to issue opinions, as well.