June 12, 2013
On May 20, 2013 the Supreme Court announced its decision in Metrish v. Lancaster. The question in this case was whether a petitioner was entitled to federal habeas relief when, in his retrial for murder, Michigan courts relied on an intervening state supreme court decision to deny petitioner’s attempt to reassert the same diminished capacity defense he had raised (unsuccessfully) at his original trial.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held unanimously that the petitioner was not entitled to federal habeas relief, because the retroactive application of a state supreme court decision eliminating the diminished capacity defense was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.
To discuss the case, we have J. Richard Broughton, who is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.