A Bad Day For All , or, Gastonia – The Other Side of the Catawba River

The Supreme Court, a Bank Robber and a Heart Attack, Bloomberg View (2 DEC 2014) By Noah Feldman

“Some days you just can’t catch a break. Larry Whitfield had one of those on Sept. 26, 2008. First, he botched a bank robbery without even getting in the door. Fleeing, he ended up in the home of a 79-year-old woman, Mary Parnell — who promptly died of a heart attack.

Whitfield wasn’t convicted of murder, but he was convicted of the federal crime of forcing someone to accompany him while in the act of a bank robbery. The “accompanying,” prosecutors said, took place when Whitfield asked Parnell to move one from one room in her house to another. Now, the Supreme Court will decide whether the prosecutors overreached — and therein lies an intriguing legal tale…”

  • And the SCOTUS oral argument transcript, chock full of Clarence Thomas’ brightest moments, is here.
  • See Jeffrey Toobin’s excellent digression on Thomas’ oral argument performance (nonfeasance? malfeasance?) in The New Yorker, Clarence Thomas’s Disgraceful Silence (FEBRUARY 21, 2014).
  • SCOTUSblog’s exquisite oral argument recap is here.
  • Whitfield v. United States SCOTUSblog index page is here.
  • The text of the underlying statute, 18 U.S.C. 2113, “Bank robbery and incidental crimes,” is here.

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