Death row inmate whose lawyers’ abandonment of him resulted in the filing of a late appeal allowed to file appeal nunc pro tunc

Maples v. Thomas, ____U.S.____, No. 10-63 (1/18/12) (22 pages) 

I did not post about this case, wherein the Supreme Court allowed a death row inmate, whose attorneys abandoned him before the trial court rendered a decision on his petition for post-conviction relief, to file a late appeal of the decision, when it was announced last week because the result was unremarkable in terms of Pennsylvania criminal law and practice.  However this New York Times Opinionator post by former New York Times Supreme Court correspondent and current Yale Law School faculty member Linda Greenhouse gives some of the inside baseball about the decision, based upon her years of observation of and reporting on the Court and its members.  Greenhouse’s post, in addition to being a wonderful read, reminds all criminal practitioners that it is always worth considering challenging precedent when that precedent feels wrong.

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