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For immediate release Monday, March 17, 2008.
Contact Bob Brammer 515-281-6699

U.S. Supreme Court denies "cert"
in James Bentley case.

Statement of the Iowa Attorney General's Office:

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order today "denying cert" in the James Bentley case (that is, the Court declined to review the Iowa Supreme Court decision in the State v. James Bentley case, as the Attorney General’s Office had sought in December.)

The ruling was not unexpected in that the U.S. Supreme Court only takes up a very small portion of the cases appealed to the Court. (In this batch, for example, the Court "granted cert" in 8 cases and denied cert in 264.)

Attorney General Tom Miller said: "It's always a long-shot, but we are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court is not taking up this case. We would have welcomed the Court's guidance on issues of when a child's earlier statements may be used as evidence without violating a defendant's rights of confrontation. We will continue to seek the best results for child victims of crime."

The Attorney General’s Office filed the "petition for certiorari" on Dec. 26, 2007, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Iowa Supreme Court decision. See statement issued then, with background and information on the matter: Http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/dec_2007/Bentley.html

The matter now returns to the prosecutors in the case, the Benton County Attorney and Linn County Attorney, for decisions on how they may proceed.