Friday, September 4, 2009

Justice Breyer Denies Massachusetts Stay Request In Habeas Case

On August 26, 2009, Justice Breyer, as Circuit Justict for the First Circuit, denied the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stay request.  The defendant was convicted, the intermediated appellate court reversed and the Supreme Judicial Court reinstated the conviction.  On a petition for habeas relief, the district court denied the petition but the First Circuit reversed and ordered the defendants immediate and unconditional release.  Justice Breyer refused to stay the release because he did not believe Massachusetts had established that the Court was likely to even take the case, let alone reverse it.  However, he did order additional bail requirements be imposed pending a decision by the Court as to whether to take the case.  The opinion in O'Brien v. O'Laughlin can be found here.


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