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Summary of actions by the Supreme Court on Tuesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday:

• Agreed to hear an appeal from former Enron chief executive officer Jeffrey Skilling for his role in the collapse of the one-time energy giant. Lower courts have upheld 19 of his convictions of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors involving the 2001 collapse of Enron.

• Agreed to rethink a lower court's decision to throw out the sex trafficking and forced labor conviction of a man dubbed the "S&M Svengali." Federal prosecutors want their conviction of Glenn Marcus to stand. A lower court said Marcus was convicted of breaking a law that wasn't in place when some offenses happened. Marcus was imprisoned for abusing a woman he photographed for a Web site that reveled in sadomasochism.

• Appeared inclined to reinstate a death sentence for Frank Spisak, a neo-Nazi convicted of murdering three men in Ohio more than a quarter century ago. Spisak's attorney says that his client had an ineffective lawyer in 1983 and that jurors received improper sentencing instructions.

• Questioned whether defendants should expect their lawyers to advise them on all the possible consequences of a guilty plea before it is submitted to a court. Jose Padilla wants his guilty plea thrown out because his lawyer incorrectly told him it would not affect his immigration status.

• Will decide whether the death conviction of Albert Holland should be upheld despite the fact that his lawyer missed the deadline for filing one of his appeals. Lower courts have said "pure professional negligence" is not enough to extend the appeals deadline for Holland.

Summary of actions by the Supreme Court on Tuesday 10/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:47pm]

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