Today's order list from the Supreme Court is available here.
No cert. grants in habeas cases. Hasn't been one for awhile now.
However, Sotomayor (joined by Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan) issued a brief opinion respecting the denial of certiorari in a front-end case called Gamache v. California. It's a good one for criminal defendants.
The legal issue in the case was whether the jury's consideration during deliberations of evidence not submitted at trial was harmless. In its decision, the California Supreme Court stated that the "'burden remained with the defendant to demonstrate prejudice . . . .'" Gamache slip op. at 2-3 (emphasis in Gamache).
Sotomayor took this opportunity to remind the lower courts that the burden to show that an error is harmless is upon the prosecution, not the defendant. She emphasized that the placing of burdens can be an outcome determinative.
But she concluded that the burden allocation would not have altered the lower court's prejudice analysis. So, no need to review the case.
Nevertheless, a good reminder from four Supreme Court judges.