Washington — In a big decision day on Monday, the United States Supreme Court not only gave its attention to hypnosis in trials, mandatory death sentences for murderers already serving life sentences without parole, and a new job-discrimination case from Texas (See Page 2). The court also: Ruled, in a significant decision for American businesses, that civil lawsuits invoking a federal antimobster law must be filed within four years of the alleged violation.The justices unanimously said the four-year deadline applies to all lawsuits seeking enforcement of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.
Reinstated the death sentence of John Harvey Adamson for murdering newspaper reporter Don Bolles in Arizona in 1976. In a 5-to-4 ruling, the court said Adamson - initially given a 20-year prison sentence - was properly resentenced to be executed after he broke a plea-bargaining agreement to testify against others allegedly involved in the case.
Agreed to decide whether states may enforce safety codes for hazards unrelated to radiation at federal nuclear plants. The court said it will study an appeal by the Goodyear Atomic Corporation, which operates a nuclear plant in Ohio where a worker broke his ankle in a fall from an allegedly defective scaffold.
Barred challenges to jury verdicts based on allegations that jurors were taking drugs or drinking alcohol during a trial. The court rejected - 5 to 4, in a Florida case - arguments that juror intoxication is a form of ``outside influence'' affecting the legitimacy of a verdict.
Let stand Michigan's compulsory school-attendance law, challenged by a Seventh-day Adventist as a violation of her religious freedom. The court, citing lack of a ``substantial federal question,'' rejected arguments by Judy Waddell that she was wrongly convicted of violating the law by refusing in 1975 to send her seven-year-old son to school.