In my last post about the relists, I stated that I thought that the case in Maples would end up as a GVR in light of the supreme Court's decision in Walker v. Martin as both cases concerned the question of whether a state rule represented an independent and adquate state law ground.
A reader pointed out to me that this outcome does not seem likely since the lower court in Maples actually ruled against Maples and concluded that the State rule, which in some ways resembles the California rule at issue in Martin, was adequate. So there would be no reason to reverse since it would seem to be consistent with Martin.
That makes sense, so I would like to take back my statement about the GVR. I guess what I really should have said was that the result in Maples on the adequacy of the procedural rule, whatever it should end up being, seems to be dictated by the Martin decision. So it makes sense that the Court would hold the case in light of Martin.
But then I starting looking into it some more and realized that Maples had the additional issue of cause for the procedural default. I completely forgot that this was the case that got all of the media attention focusing on how a mailroom in a big New York City law firm screwed up the case. And I can't believe that I forgot that, as it was the case in which I instituted the "uncommon sense meter" (which I guess has been in hibernation for awhile).
Which means that it could still be a GVR, but on this other ground. However, I think that it is more likely to be a dissent from cert. denial. I can't see the Supreme Court deciding to review this case on the "cause" ground. But I am guessing that the facts in this death penalty case make at least one judge a little bit* uncomfortable.
*In my relist post yesterday, I also used the "a little bit" phrase. It's because I had that great line from Goodfellas stuck in my mind: "No, no, no, no, no. You insulted him a little bit. You got a little bit out of order yourself." I happened to watch Goodfellas again on Monday night. I worry that it's a little cliche to refer to Goodfellas. Who hasn't seen Goodfellas a million and a half times? But it's such a ridiculously rewatchable movie. So for your viewing pleasure, I've included the entire "Billy Batts" scene from Goodfellas. It's obviously NSFW. The quote mentioned above is at 3:07 if you want to skip ahead: