Supreme Court Notebook

Supreme Court won't hear New York juror information case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court won't get involved in a case in which a newspaper was kept from getting information about jurors hearing a high-profile New York murder trial.

The case involved The Observer-Dispatch newspaper in Utica, New York, and the murder trial of Kaitlyn Conley. Conley was accused of fatally poisoning Mary Yoder, her boss and ex-boyfriend's mother. The high court said Monday it won't review decisions that said the newspaper had no right to intervene in the case.

Conley's first trial ended in a hung jury. It was at her second trial in 2017 that The Observer-Dispatch sought and was denied access to questionnaires filled out by jurors.

Conley was convicted of manslaughter in Yoder's death and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Conley's lawyer said prosecutors failed to prove Conley poisoned Yoder.

Supreme Court won't review death sentence of Alabama inmate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says it won't review the case of an Alabama death row inmate who argued his sentence is unconstitutional because a judge imposed it over the will of a jury.

The high court said Monday it won't hear Mario Dion Woodward's case.

Woodward was convicted of fatally shooting Montgomery police officer Keith Houts during a 2006 traffic stop. A jury voted 8-4 to sentence him to life in prison, but a judge overrode the jury and imposed the death penalty.

In 2017, Alabama passed a law ending the practice of judicial overrides going forward. Woodward argued Alabama's abandonment of the practice was an acknowledgment that his sentence is unconstitutional.

Woodward can continue to pursue legal arguments against his sentence in lower courts.

Supreme Court won't intervene over West Virginia justices

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that derailed the impeachment trials of three West Virginia Supreme Court justices.

The court said Monday it won't review a case where five acting justices of West Virginia's highest court ruled that prosecuting then-state Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman in the state Senate would violate the state constitution's separation of powers clause. That ruling was later applied to also halt impeachment proceedings against two other justices who have since left the court: Robin Davis and Allen Loughry.

West Virginia House lawmakers impeached the justices in 2018 over questions involving lavish office renovations that evolved into accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty. But the acting justices' ruling halted state Senate impeachment trials. Workman remains on the court.

Published: Tue, Oct 08, 2019