Tag Archives: 6th Amendment

Average Joe SCOTUS: Hemphill v. New York

In US courts, they’re bound to honor the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment in the constitution, which assures that an accused individual has the right to confront their accuser. That’s at the heart of this case here.

In the lovely and scenic Bronx area, some all around scumbags started a fight over whatever the fuck people in the Bronx fight about. Someone whipped out their piece and started shooting.

Being as dumb as their fucking argument probably was, they didn’t hit the person they were trying to hit, instead they hit a two year old kid, in a car, that was passing by, and fucking killed him.

Nicholas Morris was identified as one of the assholes in question, and upon a search of his home, cops found a .357 hand cannon, a starter pistol, and an empty 9mm shell casing. Pacheco, the deceased two year old boy, was killed by a 9mm. So even though they didn’t find a 9mm weapon on Morris, the casing was deemed evidence enough, and he was charged.

Ronnell Gilliam was also at the scene, and feeling guilty as fuck, decided to drop a dime on Morris, and accused him of being the shooter. But then Gilliam was like, “Alright man, I was just messing around. It was actually Darrell Hemphill who shot the 9mm, and then disposed of it.”

It’s important to know that cops never recovered the gun. Just an empty 9mm cartridge from Morris.

Anyway, after failing to prosecute Morris for the murder, New York went after Hemphill in light of this new evidence.

Hemphill however, is saying that because this new evidence came from testimony by Morris at his own allocution where he confessed to possession of the .357, Hemphill isn’t able to “confront” Morris at trial, and therefore such evidence is inadmissable.

But New York is like, “Hemphill opened the door to this testimony when he threw shade on Morris, arguing he was the one found with a 9mm casing at his place.” The phrase “opened the door” is kinda important here, since New York seems to think the Constitution is optional if in a case like this, someone opens the door to the evidence.

So the court has to decide if Hemphill forfeited his right to confront Morris when he accused Morris based on his confession of possession.

I almost feel sorry for New York, representing counsel tried making an impassioned argument, but ended up coming off like a used car salesperson, and the justices seemed pretty skeptical on some of her responses.

In an 8:1 decision, with only Justice Thomas dissenting, SCOTUS ruled in favor of Hemphill. That the 6th amendment doesn’t get tossed in the shitter just because the defendant makes some argument bringing up said asshole in his allocution. There’s no exceptions to the 6th amendment the court has allowed, and they’re not about to start now.

Justice Thomas, was so disinterested, he dissented on the premise that because Hemphill didn’t bring up his sixth amendment rights in the NY appellate court, that SCOTUS shouldn’t even be listening to this bullshit.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Ramos v. Louisiana

6th Amendment – Bill Of Rights – United States Constitution

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

14th Amendment – Section 1

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

All around Louisiana scumbag, Evangelisto Ramos allegedly murdered someone. He went to trial, and opted for a jury. Ten of the jurors thought he was guilty AF, but two weren’t so convinced. However, in Louisiana, you don’t need to convince all twelve jurors, ten will do just fine.

So Ramos appealed, citing the 6th amendment, which says nothing about unanimous decisions, somehow alludes to the notion that decisions must be unanimous. The appeals court told Ramos to get fucked. And the Supreme Court of Louisiana told him they didn’t even have time to listen to his bullshit. SCOTUS on the other hand seemed bored, and were happy to have a listen.

His argument is based on 1972’s Apodaca v. Oregon where SCOTUS decided that while the 6th amendment guarantees the people a right to trial by jury, and that federal jury trials require a unanimous jury verdict, such a unanimity verdict requirement does not apply to the states. They need only be a trial by jury.

Ramos’ team argues that if it’s good enough for federal courts, it’s good enough for the state courts too, and wants that decision overturned.

In a 6-3 non-partisan majority, SCOTUS sided with Ramos. They decided that the 6th amendment effectively ensures a guilty verdict must be unanimous, whether it be in federal or state court, doesn’t matter. That the courts should ultimately be consistent in this.

So this decision reverses SCOTUS’ previous decision in Apodaca, and therefore creates a new and contrary precedent. Doing so goes against a principle SCOTUS likes to adhere to called “stare decisis,” the idea that once the court rules on something, they set a precedent that should be consistently applied going forward.

The reason for stare decisis is that the law shouldn’t be a constantly changing thing, merely an evolving thing. That citizens shouldn’t be innocent/acquitted one day of something, but then someone else does the same thing, and is found guilty the next day. You can imagine it would leave all of us wondering whether we’re going to jail or not on an issue where the courts seem to change their mind all the time. No es bueno.

So what does all this mean? Well, it potentially means the people in jail, on a non-unanimous decision, are either going to have to be retried, since their verdicts will now be deemed a mistrial, presumably. Or, they are just probably going to go free now.

Hear oral arguments, read the ruling, and get a synopsis of the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS – United States v. Haymond

So this perverted motherfucker Haymond was a serial child porn user. His disgusting dumb ass got busted, was convicted, and was sentenced to 38 months in prison plus 10 years of supervised release. These two separate sentences will be important, so pay attention.

Haymond was still a pervert after he served hard time, and two years into his supervised release, this dumb motherfucker got busted again with new child porn. Like seriously, fuck this guy.

So the judge imposed a five year minimum sentence on Haymond as a result of his infraction during supervised release, based on minimums set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3583(k).

Haymond sued and said, “This is some bullshit. The 5th amendment gives me due process, and the 6th amendment guarantees me a jury trial. But this piece of shit judge just shoved five years up my ass without a trial or a jury.”

Prosecutors were like, “Listen. First. You’re a fucking pervert and you need to be off the streets. Clearly, you’re a sick fuck that needs to go away. Second, your sentences originally were a total of 13 years and two months. You’ve only served the 38 months and 2 years of supervised, so the sentence is basically turning the balance of your supervised release to supervised behind bars, motherfucker. Third, fuck you.”

The whole point of a trial by jury, is because judges back in the day, were appointed by the king, and often corrupt AF. They couldn’t be trusted then. And even now, they’re still appointed and not always to be trusted. So juries are kinda important.

So now SCOTUS has to decide if Haymond should have been tried again for these new offenses before throwing his dumb ass back in jail, or if the judge was within the Constitutional framework sentencing him within his original sentence. Specifically, they were asked if 18 U.S.C. § 3583(k), which was the law that provided for a minimum of five years if he got busted during supervised release, violated his 5th and 6th amendment rights.

This was a tough one, split 5:4. These robed motherfuckers simply couldn’t agree here. Gorsuch sided with the left justices on this one, pretty pissed off that Congress, in passing such a law, wanted to essentially keep “we the people” out of the decision making process and putting these decisions solely in the hands of a judge. This bullshit law was deemed a violation of 5A and 6A. The other conservatives again, showing they’re not the constitutional freedom lovers you think they are dissented, agreeing with the idea that it was within the original sentence, and thus didn’t add any “time” to the defendant, it just added time in jail vs. supervised release.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case here.