WHAT HAPPENED?
Defendant (Owens) was charged and convicted of murder based on a suspicious eye-witness testimony and a ruling by the judge that was supported by flimsy evidence.  Defendant appealed through all applicable State Courts and was denied.  Defendant filed a motion for habeas corpus in federal courts and his motion was granted by the intermediate 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?
While it is all fine and dandy that this particular defendant received a receptive audience in the 7th Circuit, there remains a problem in that there is no authority that actually grants the 7th Circuit the ability to grant this Motion.  It’s a classic case of common sense via court precedent.
WHAT IS THE RULING
This case is not yet decided.
WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?
If you extend the view broad enough, this case has fairly significant ramifications because it speaks highly to whether or not Courts should be more exact when it comes to flimsy evidence putting defendants in jail for life sentences.  If the 7th Circuit ruling is affirmed, it shows that the Court recognizes the current trend toward being more exact with criminal trials and gives appellate courts more authority to enforce that policy.  If the 7th Circuit ruling is reversed, well then nevermind back to business as usual.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR DUNCAN (i.e. THE STATE) IF YOU
Think martyrs are overrated.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR OWENS (i.e. THE DEFENDANT) IF YOU:
Are a huge fan of middle management
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