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The case of Vernon Madison has been headline news since his most recent round of appeals got started back in 2016. Madison, an inmate in his late 60s, contends that he should not be executed because he cannot remember committing the crime that landed him on death row. Now, the Supreme Court is gearing up to hear Madison's case for a second time.

While that novel argument seems to defy all credulity, Madison's failing memory is actually an undisputed fact, and case law establishes that a convict should not be executed unless they can "rationally understand the connection between the crime he committed and the punishment he is to receive." Madison has suffered multiple strokes, and as a result, can't remember who the last president was, let alone the crime he committed over 30 years ago.

The seemingly never-ending justice roller coaster for Brendan Dassey just keeps going and going. After his successful appeal was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals en banc, a petition was filed with SCOTUS to challenge the circuit's decision.

Recently, it was announced that Dassey's legal team has retained noted litigators who have made several appearances before SCOTUS -- though interestingly, the specific attorneys were neither noted nor named. Dassey's attorney, Steven Drizin, did note though that the High Court has warned that appearing before it without a "seasoned" litigator was akin to malpractice.

Supreme Court Hears Murder Case Where Lawyer Admitted Client's Guilt

So if a lawyer decides to tell the jury his client is guilty -- and the the jury returns a death sentence -- does the malpractice carrier pay to execute the lawyer?

It's a bad joke, but what else can you say when a lawyer makes such a grave decision? Unfortunately for Robert McCoy, he is still on death row after his conviction for a triple murder.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court considers the sobering question: When a defendant in a capital case says "not guilty," can his attorney say "guilty?"

What Will SCOTUS Do About Warrantless Vehicle Searches?

Police pulled over Terrence Byrd for a traffic violation and learned he was not on the rental car agreement -- his girlfriend was.

That was not a crime, but then they searched the car and found heroin in the trunk. That was a crime.

During arguments in Byrd v. United States, the question was whether the warrantless search violated the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court, for the moment, didn't have the answer.

The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the Christie v. NCAA matter. The questions asked by the justices and their responses are leading commentators to believe the High Court could very well legalize sports gambling not just in Jersey, but nationwide.

Some justices were rather skeptical of the argument that the 1992 federal gaming prohibition was an overreach of Congress's authority to regulate state activity, and particularly what that would mean for similar congressional enactments. But, as reports have noted, other justices, including Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Roberts and Alito, were much more receptive.

Prosecutors Can Renege on Plea Deal, Supreme Court Rules

Criminal law is not a shell game, but it sure must look like it to Michael Daniel Cuero.

He pleaded guilty to two felonies and was sentenced to 14 years and four months in state prison. However, the prosecutor missed a prior offense in the deal and amended the complaint.

As a result, Cuero got 25 years to life in Kernan v. Cuero. A federal appeals court said he was entitled to the 14-year deal, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded. By the time his sentence is straightened out, Cuero should ask for time served.

Inmate Can't Remember Crime, but Can Be Executed

It was the end of a long road for Vernon Madison.

Convicted of murdering a police officer more than 30 years ago, Madison had avoided his death sentence year after year. He was tried three times and appealed more, including a reversal this year when an appeals court said he was incompetent to be executed because he couldn't remember his crime.

But the U.S. Supreme Court drew the final curtain on Madison's journey through the courts, saying "nothwithstanding his memory loss -- he recognizes that he will be put to death as punishment for the murder he was found to have committed."

Justices Debate Semantics in Death Penalty Case

If your life were in the balance, it could be disconcerting to hear a debate over semantics.

Like doctors arguing in surgery about whether robots will take their place in the operating room, the debate might be interesting, but not when you're bleeding out.

So it was interesting to court watchers that U.S. Supreme Court Justices were arguing about whether two phrases meant the same thing. It was a death penalty case.

A pair of closely watched tech cases which were expected to be taken up by SCOTUS have been denied certiorari. Both Facebook v. Powers and U.S. v. Nosal were expected to be taken up in order for the High Court to settle, once and for all, the question that has been killing legal scholars ever so softly: Is it a federal crime to share your Netflix password?

The actual question that needs to be answered definitively is who has the authority to grant third party access to a user's online service account: the user or the service provider? Or, in more modern terms that any millennial would understand: Does a Netflix user have the authority to share their password with another person, or is doing so a federal crime (thanks to the Netflix Terms of Service)?

Supreme Court Won't Hear Handgun Case

Continuing a guarded approach to the Second Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a case that said people need "good cause" for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public.

The Court left intact Peruta v. County of San Diego, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that said "there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public." As a result, most Californians will have a hard time getting concealed weapons permits.

Gun advocates promptly decried the High Court's action, just as they did when the Ninth Circuit ruled on the case. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined in dissent by Justice Neil Gorsuch, said the Supreme Court should have taken up the appeal.