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On Opening Day, Court Rejects Nearly 2,000 Appeals

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Supreme Court rejected appeals in nearly 2,000 cases Monday. Among some of the most prominent cases and issues:

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-- DEATH PENALTY: The court declined a challenge to the way Louisiana imposes the death penalty. Attorneys for a condemned woman, who was convicted for her role in a deadly attack, appealed her sentence and asked the justices to examine whether the death sentence in Louisiana is arbitrarily meted out to some defendants while others in similar circumstances are given life sentences.

-- EPISCOPAL SPLIT: It refused to hear from a church that wanted to take parish property in its split from the Episcopal Church. St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach, Calif., is among several dozen individual parishes and four dioceses nationwide that broke from the national church after it ordained an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

-- INSIDER TRADING: The court refused to hear Joseph Nacchio's appeal of his insider-trading conviction. The former Qwest Communications International CEO contended that the trial judge gave the jury improper instructions and improperly excluded testimony from a key defense witness. Nacchio began serving a six-year sentence on April 14.

-- FREEDOM TO RUN: The court declined to consider whether a Kentucky county deputy was unjustly fired for challenging his boss in an election. Deputy Sheriff David Greenwell filed to run against Sheriff Paul Parsley in Bullitt County, south of Louisville, in a 2006 election. When Parsley learned of this, he fired Greenwell for trying "to take my job away from me." Greenwell alleged that his firing violated his First Amendment rights, but lower courts sided with Parsley. -- Associated Press


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