News 06.26.07

Supreme Court to review justice in Louisiana

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday accepted one of three Louisiana cases, declining to hear the other two.  In Snyder v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether race played a role in the jury selection of a death row case. The all-white jury sentenced Allen Snyder, a black man, to death row in 1996. Previously, in a case from Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a black man’s death sentence because prosecutors had kept black people off the jury.

Without comment, the Supreme Court declined to hear two other Louisiana cases – both involving foreign attorneys practicing law in the United States.

At issue is a Louisiana Supreme Court decision in 2002 that said only foreigners on a path to become citizens may practice law in the state. The lawyers affected by the ruling said they went to Louisiana to help address a severe shortage of lawyers for poor defendants. One British lawyer, Emily Maw, received her law degree from Tulane University in 2003 and is director of Innocence Project New Orleans, which represents indigent clients. She also is a practicing lawyer in Mississippi.

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