Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman v. Ricky Bell
November 6, 2002 (01-9094)
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Case Summary
Petitioner Abdur'Rahman was convicted of first-degree murder, assault with intent to commit murder and armed robbery in 1987 and was sentenced to death. His conviction and sentence were upheld on direct appeal. Petitioner then petitioned for a writ of federal habeas corpus in federal district court and a stay of execution was granted. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled this decision. Neither court considered his prosecutorial misconduct claims because they had not been appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court and thus were held not to be exhausted for purposes of 28 U.S.C. 2254 (c). At that point, in 2001, Abdur'Rahman had exhausted all available recourse and a new execution date was to be set. In the meantime, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court adopted a new rule which stated that a litigant was not required to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court in order to have exhausted all state remedies. In light of this legal development, Petitioner sought to pursue the prosecutorial misconduct claims that the federal court had earlier held to be unexhausted. Both the district court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that hearing those claims would constitute a prohibited second consideration of a habeas corpus petition and dismissed petitioner's claims.

PREDICTED OUTCOME ACTUAL
OUTCOME
Forecasting
Model
Expert
One
Expert
Two
Expert
Three
6-3 to Reverse 5-4 to Affirm 6-3 to Affirm 7-2 to Reverse Dismissed
VOTING TO REVERSE
Stevens
O'Connor
Scalia
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Stevens
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Stevens
Souter
Ginsburg
Rehnquist
Stevens
O'Connor
Kennedy
Souter
Ginsburg
Breyer
Dismissed as improvidently granted.
VOTING TO AFFIRM
Rehnquist
Kennedy
Thomas
Rehnquist
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Rehnquist
O'Connor
Scalia
Kennedy
Thomas
Breyer
Scalia
Thomas
 

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