If a drug user dies or is seriously injured after taking in multiple substances, a dealer who supplied one of the items can get an enhanced sentence only if that one drug was the actual cause of the death or injury, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday. The decision in Burrage v. United States flatly rejected a federal government argument — based on the notion that addicts often use more than one substance — that it would be enough if that one drug played a role in the result, even though it did not itself cause that outcome.
Yes, the issue of distributing drugs followed by the injury or death of the recipient has been a military issue not too long ago. United States v. Bennitt, No. 12-0616/AR, 72 M.J. 266 (C.A.A.F. 2013) (opinion) (CAAFlog case page).
The Court declined certiorari in these two cases.
Warger v. Shauers, 13-517, Issue: Whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permits a party moving for a new trial based on juror dishonest during voir dire to introduce juror testimony about statements made during deliberations that tend to show the alleged dishonesty.
Robinson v. Drummond, 13-496, Issue: Whether the Sixth Circuit violated the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act by holding that “some form” of Waller v. Georgia‘s specific four-part test was clearly established for partial courtroom closures and that a state court could unreasonably apply the modified test in the partial-closure context.
[D]enial of a petition for writ of certiorari . . . simply means that fewer than four members of the Court deemed it desirable to review a decision of the lower court as a matter “of sound judicial discretion.” A variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ, and as to the same petition different reasons may lead different Justices to the same result.. . . Inasmuch, therefore, all that a denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari means is that fewer than four members of the Court thought it should be granted, this Court has rigorously insisted that such a denial carries with it no implication whatever regarding the Court’s views on the merits of a case which it has declined to review. The Court has said this again and again; again and again the admonition has to be repeated. United States v. Carver, 260 U.S. 482 (1923). See also, Evans and Jordan v. Stephens, et. al., 544 U.S. 942, n.1 (2005)(“Nothing is more basic to the functioning of this Court than an understanding that denial of certiorari is occasioned by a variety of reasons which precludes the implication that were the case here the merits would go against the petitioner”).