Dividing Over the Valentines:

Today, in Valentine v. United States, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on Kenneth and Jimmy Ray Valentine's challenges to their convictions. The court unanimously rejected all of their ineffective assistance of counsel claims, with the exception of Jimmy Ray Valentine's claim that his trial counsel thwarted his attempt to accept a plea bargain.

The panel divided on the appellants' challenge to their convictions on Booker grounds, however, holding that Booker is not retroactive. Judge Cook wrote for herself and Judge Bunning (sitting by designation); Judge Martin dissented. As Judge Martin sees it, Booker should apply retroactively to those habeas petitioners whose convictions became final after Apprendi. Doug Berman has more here.