Supreme Court grants cert in two habeas cases, vacates the judgments, and remands for consideration of White v. Woodall
Posted on: 4/29/2014 12:16:15 PM by Peoples
On April 28, 2014, The Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition of the Secretary of the Department of Corrections in Wetzel v. Washington, 13-699 and vacated the judgment in Washington v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, 726 F.3d 471 (3rd Cir. 2013).  The Third Circuit had upheld the grant of habeas relief on a Confrontation Clause claim.  The case involves the admission of a non-testifying co-defendant’s confession that had been redacted to substitute Washington’s name with neutral pronouns and phrases.  That same day, the Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition of the warden in Robinson v. Drummond, 13-496, and vacated the judgment in Drummond v. Houk, 728 F.3d 520 (6th Cir. 2014), a capital case.  The Sixth Circuit had affirmed the grant of habeas relief on a claim of denial of a public trial.  The case involved the partial closure of the courtroom during one afternoon of testimony where all spectators other than the media were removed.  In both cases, the lower courts were instructed to reconsider their decisions in light of the Supreme Court's recent opinion in White v Woodall