In his Owens v. Guida dissent, Judge Merritt suggested that prosecutorial misconduct was "typical" of the Memphis district attorney's office and referenced Cone v. Bell, another death penalty case out of Tennessee in which Judge Merritt dissented. Perhaps not coincidentally, Owens was released on Tuesday, the very same day the Supreme Court heard oral argument (for the third time) in Cone -- an argument in which Gary B. Cone's lawyers stressed alleged prosecutorial misconduct in his case.
Twice before the Sixth Circuit had granted Cone habeas relief, and twice before the Supreme Court reversed and remanded. The third time around, the Court denied Cone's habeas petition, and the Supremes granted cert again. If the press reports are any indication, they may reverse the Sixth yet once more -- only this time in Cone's favor.