Michiganders and Death?

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Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:17 pm

Hey Michiganders or clerks familiar with the EDMI. I see that a position for a Death Penalty Law Clerk was posted by Judge Goldsmith on OSCAR. I'm curious about it. What is it? I did some research on TLS and it seemed to be a Pro Se Clerk thing, but then I see OSCAR has separate clerk titles for that. What gives? What is this position?

- Why does Goldsmith have this position? Is he assigned more of the criminal pro se/death penalty cases in the EDMI or is it a chambers organization call?
- It's posted as a 1 year position, is that because he hires a new one every year or because it's his "turn" as judge to handle this caseload?
- If you want to be a state or federal prosecutor, would this be a good move?
- Do you think judges would hire you to a normal clerk position after this?

Thanks all.

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:25 pm

It is probably listed that way because he is the direct supervisor for the position. It will be like a pro se law clerk position, but focused exclusively on habeas petitions (most if not all from state prisoners).

I think these positions might turn into an in chambers clerkship but the odds are not particularly high. Often, the people who are selected for these positions have a decent amount of experience with habeas law and reviewing state trial court records.

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 pm

It’s weird that an EDMI judge would be hiring a death penalty clerk because Michigan isn’t a death penalty state and I can’t imagine that the small number of federal capital prosecutions would merit a death penalty clerk. I wonder if this position is more accurately described as a habeas clerk, but OSCAR lists it as death penalty.

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It’s weird that an EDMI judge would be hiring a death penalty clerk because Michigan isn’t a death penalty state and I can’t imagine that the small number of federal capital prosecutions would merit a death penalty clerk. I wonder if this position is more accurately described as a habeas clerk, but OSCAR lists it as death penalty.


I thought that was odd too. Maybe the chambers just thinks pro se clerk and death penalty clerk are the same? Is it crazy to just call chambers?

This is *literally* the only death penalty clerk listed on the whole OSCAR system.

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:36 pm

It’s possible that there’s a big death penalty case/trial scheduled and they’re hiring to cover that? There was a death penalty trial in another chambers when I clerked and they practically ground to a halt (I think jury selection alone took 6 weeks). But I’m speculating, I don’t have any inside info.

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It’s weird that an EDMI judge would be hiring a death penalty clerk because Michigan isn’t a death penalty state and I can’t imagine that the small number of federal capital prosecutions would merit a death penalty clerk. I wonder if this position is more accurately described as a habeas clerk, but OSCAR lists it as death penalty.


I thought that was odd too. Maybe the chambers just thinks pro se clerk and death penalty clerk are the same? Is it crazy to just call chambers?

This is *literally* the only death penalty clerk listed on the whole OSCAR system.


I’ve heard of other death penalty clerks, but only in the district/circuit courts of the death penalty belt in the South (CA5/11, mostly). That’s why I’m surprised there’s one in Michigan.

I know Michigan has a ton of juvenile lifers, many of whom probably filed habeas petitions after SCOTUS decided Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana. Maybe this clerk is being brought on to clear the backlog there?

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It’s weird that an EDMI judge would be hiring a death penalty clerk because Michigan isn’t a death penalty state and I can’t imagine that the small number of federal capital prosecutions would merit a death penalty clerk. I wonder if this position is more accurately described as a habeas clerk, but OSCAR lists it as death penalty.


I thought that was odd too. Maybe the chambers just thinks pro se clerk and death penalty clerk are the same? Is it crazy to just call chambers?

This is *literally* the only death penalty clerk listed on the whole OSCAR system.


I’ve heard of other death penalty clerks, but only in the district/circuit courts of the death penalty belt in the South (CA5/11, mostly). That’s why I’m surprised there’s one in Michigan.

I know Michigan has a ton of juvenile lifers, many of whom probably filed habeas petitions after SCOTUS decided Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana. Maybe this clerk is being brought on to clear the backlog there?


I looked up any death penalty cases pending in Michigan. The Seven Miles Blood gang case seems to be involving several defendants and the DOJ is seeking the death penalty. But that is with Judge Steeh, not Goldsmith.

But you may be right it is for a backlog of habeas petitions.

Any Michiganders have input?

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Re: Michiganders and Death?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:15 pm

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in a few cases in Detroit. It might be related to juvenile lifers though, as Judge Goldsmith has some of those cases.



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