Even MORE Habeas News Today!

We have a trifecta, ladies and gentlemen. In October, I wrote about United States v. Pleau, which deals with a rather rare form of habeas: ad prosequendum. For all the details, read my post. The quick version is this:

Pleau is in Rhode Island custody (life imprisonment, in fact) for murder. The feds want to prosecute him for this murder under charges that might expose him to the federal death penalty. Rhode Island’s governor refused to give the feds custody when it was requested through the Interstate Act on Detainers (“IAD”). The feds, having been snubbed, filed a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(5) <—— I know, you don’t see that one very often, do you? The First Circuit panel held 2 to 1 that “once the government has elected to seek custody of a state prisoner under the IAD, it is bound by that decision. Any subsequent ad prosequendum writ is to be considered a written request for temporary custody under the IAD . . . .”

Well, the First Circuit is going to rehear the case en banc. As the Providence Journal reports, the full First Circuit will hear the case on April 4, 2012. I’ll be eager to see how the en banc court handles the matter. I am not at all surprised the court agreed to rehear the matter…indeed, I predicted it when I posted about the panel decision. And as I also noted in that post, this rehearing may not be the end. SCOTUS may take the case up, though I’m less sure of that one. I’m not sure that there’s a sufficient split of authority on the matter in circuit courts to peak SCOTUS’ interest. Time will tell.

When there’s more to report, I’ll bring it to you!

-Zachary Cloud

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