Andrew Cohen posts, "The Law: 10 Days to Watch in 2013," at the the Atlantic.
Here's a list of 10 important legal dates in 2013, days when you'll likely be paying a little more attention than usual to the world of the law. Some of them represent the beginning of new realities we'll have to deal with next year and beyond. Some of them are timely commemorations of important dates in legal history, reminders that many of the same fighting faiths that animate our current national arguments were around in times past.
I'm already on the record as suggesting that 2013 will be as intense or even more intense for the law than the year we've just endured. Here are some reasons why.
And here are two of his 10 dates:
January 8: The Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a capital case that touches upon virtually every failing you ever see in a capital case. There is no physical evidence against Tyrone Noling, convicted of murdering an elderly man and woman in their Ohio home in 1990. All of the primary witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, and there are allegations of coercive interrogation tactics on the part of the police. Meanwhile, prosecutors withheld evidence at trial. And yet today they continue to refuse to allow DNA testing of a cigarette butt found at the scene of the crime that might exonerate the defendant. Noling's execution has been stayed. His lawyers say he deserves a new trial.
May 13: The 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's seminal ruling in Brady v. Maryland. This case stands for the proposition that if prosecutors cheat during criminal trials, defendants may get relief from the court. "We now hold," the Supreme Court unanimously announced, "that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment." The so-called "Brady Rule" now is a standard most criminal cases -- and has been broadened, in theory anyway, by the justices. Sadly, as the Noling case above demonstrated, it's also frequently ignored by overzealous prosecutors. Here's to John Brady.
You'll want to read the other eight.