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SCOTUS Gives Michigan Time to Fight Murder Retrial, Covid Cited

Feb. 1, 2021, 10:39 PM

The Supreme Court lifted an order that would’ve required Michigan prosecutors to retry a 2007 murder case by May 4 or release the defendant, after state officials cited Covid-prompted trial delays.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor would have denied the state’s motion to recall and stay the mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which granted habeas relief based on Ervine Davenport’s unconstitutional shackling at his 2008 trial.

Neither the majority nor Sotomayor explained their reasoning in Monday’s order. The high court has sided with government officials and against prisoners on Covid-related claims.

Whatever its rationale, ...