Farley v. Bissonnette, No. 08-1094 (10/8/08) denies a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The first issue was whether "the trial judge's instruction to the jury that the prosecution 'does not have the burden of proving that no one else may have committed the murder' [was] an error that was contrary to clearly established Supreme Court precedent as stated in In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970)." The First concludes “Thus, where the defense attempts to cast the blame on someone other than the defendant, it is not unusual for the court to remind the jury that the government's burden is to show that the defendant is guilty--not that the other person whom the defendant seeks to blame is innocent.” But really, we all know what is going on: the trial court thinks that the defendant is guilty and wants to make sure the defendant goes away.
The second issue is whether "the state court's decision that the trial judge's limitation of the petitioner's cross-examination of Ronald James, though error, was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt [was] an unreasonable application of clearly established Supreme Court precedent, namely, Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673 (1986)." The First seems to just say that it was okay that this was considered harmless error. Whatever.