Every fall, the Supreme Court takes up a series of criminal law cases that can have a major impact on criminal practice across the country. Some years are more eventful than others. The most consequential term in this century was likely October Term 2003, which gave us Crawford v. Washington and Blakely v. Washington, each of which changed important aspects of trial and sentencing procedure. While it is too soon to say whether this term will rival October 2003’s transformative effects—additional cases still may be added to this year’s docket—it is already apparent that we should expect important decisions in areas as diverse as the Double Jeopardy Clause, the Excessive Fines Clause, and death penalty practice. In this article, we provide a short preview of the leading criminal law cases that have been placed on the docket and also briefly review a few cert petitions that some Court followers think could be granted.
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