Law Supreme Court's Conservatives Defend Their Handling Of Death Penalty Cases -

StyrofoamFridge

Deacon of the Moonullite Synagogue
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Supreme Court's Conservatives Defend Their Handling Of Death Penalty Cases

May 14, 2019


Amid controversy and criticism from religious groups on the right and left about their decisions in recent death penalty cases, the U.S. Supreme Court's five-man majority is striking back.
Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
The bitter battle over the death penalty continued Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court with the highly unusual release of explanatory statements from the court's conservatives as to why they reached such apparently contradictory decisions in two death cases in February and March.
On Feb. 7, the court ruled by a 5-4 vote that Alabama could go ahead with its execution of a Muslim prisoner convicted of murder. The newly energized five-man conservative majority overruled the temporary stay put in place by the lower court because Alabama allowed only a Christian minister in the execution room and refused to allow the condemned man's imam to be present.
The decision was widely condemned by religious groups on the left and right, not to mention the blistering dissent from the court's liberals, who called the decision "profoundly wrong."
Executive Privilege Fight Inches Democrats Closer To Impeachment
POLITICS
Executive Privilege Fight Inches Democrats Closer To Impeachment

Then, just seven weeks later, the court stayed the execution of a Buddhist Texas death row inmate, who similarly claimed that he was denied the right to have his spiritual adviser in the death chamber. This time only two justices — Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch — noted their dissents.
The two apparently conflicting decisions were so puzzling that they left even the lawyers involved in the cases scratching their heads.
A pre-dawn dissent
Then two weeks later, the court was again deeply and emotionally divided in a death case that had the members of the court up late into the pre-dawn hours. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent for the court's liberals that castigated the conservative majority for refusing to block an execution even after the state had decided it was too late to go forward with it.

"To proceed in this way calls into question the basic principles of fairness that should underlie our criminal justice system," Breyer wrote. "To proceed in this matter in the middle of the night without giving all Members of the Court the opportunity for discussion tomorrow morning is, I believe, unfortunate."
The case that provoked the late-night fury involved not the spiritual adviser question or the death penalty itself, but the method of execution. Christopher Price, convicted of a brutal murder, wanted to be executed in Alabama by nitrogen gas, instead of lethal injection, which he maintained would cause him severe pain and needless suffering.
China Puts New Tariffs On $60 Billion Of U.S. Goods, And Stock Prices Reel
POLITICS
China Puts New Tariffs On $60 Billion Of U.S. Goods, And Stock Prices Reel

As it happens, Alabama had authorized execution by nitrogen gas in 2018, and state officials were close to finalizing the nitrogen gas protocol. The only remaining question was whether Price could meet the criteria of recent Supreme Court decisions requiring that he show that death by nitrogen gas would be substantially less painful than death by lethal injection. And the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found that he had met that burden of proof.
But, as the scheduled date of execution neared, a jurisdictional question arose, and on April 11, two hours before the scheduled execution, Price's lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court to stay the execution and grant review of the issues in the case.
Breyer then asked that no action be taken on the case until the justices could discuss the matter at their conference the next day. He acknowledged that the delay would mean the execution would have to be rescheduled for at least 30 days later.
Court refuses to block execution even when Alabama cancels it
But even as all this was taking place, the state of Alabama was throwing in the towel, canceling the execution, in the face of the ongoing litigation.
The conservatives on the high court, however, were undaunted. They refused to grant the stay, even though Price's execution had already been temporarily put on hold by the state. And, on Monday of this week, the court refused to grant further review of the case.
Monday's announcement gave conservatives a chance to explain their decision in the Price case and in the apparently conflicting decisions in the Muslim and Buddhist execution cases.
Former President Jimmy Carter Suffers Broken Hip
NATIONAL
Former President Jimmy Carter Suffers Broken Hip

Apparently stung by public criticism of their actions, the court's conservatives released a series of explanatory opinions. In Monday's Price opinion, Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Gorsuch, wrote to rebut Justice Breyer's 3 a.m. dissent from April 12. Thomas related the brutal details of Price's crimes and then went on to challenge the 11th Circuit's finding that Alabama could have planned to execute Price by nitrogen gas instead of lethal injection.
"Even if all the equipment were available on Amazon.com" as Price alleged, said Thomas, "many details remained unanswered, particularly regarding the actual process of administering the gas and, critically, the safety of the state employees administering it."
Conservative justices accuse defense lawyers of deliberate delays
But the ultimate point Thomas wanted to make was that, in his view, Price's lawyers had played the system, deliberately delaying at every turn, in order to prevent the execution from going forward.
Price's "strategy is no secret, for it is the same strategy adopted by many death row inmates with an impending execution: bring last-minute claims that will delay the execution, no matter how groundless," he said.
"Perhaps those who oppose capital punishment will celebrate the last-minute cancellation of lawful executions. But ... by enabling the delay of petitioner's execution on April 11, we worked a 'miscarriage of justice' on the State of Alabama, [and the victims of the crime.]"
Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, As Kavanaugh Sides With Liberal Justices
TECHNOLOGY
Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, As Kavanaugh Sides With Liberal Justices

Thomas' mantra of deliberate delay by death penalty lawyers was echoed in two other opinions, both relating to the stay of execution that the court granted in the case of the Buddhist death row inmate on March 28.
Justice Alito, who had not previously noted his dissent, released a 14-page dissent from the court's decision to grant a stay of execution in the case of the Buddhist, Patrick Henry Murphy.
Alito said that Murphy's lawyers should have known six years ago what the protocol was in Texas and should have challenged it then. And even if they didn't know in 2013, he said, they certainly should have known by the time Murphy's execution date was set last November.
Murphy's lawyers did, in fact, seek permission for his spiritual adviser to be present in the execution chamber, and they blamed the state for foot dragging on a reply. Alito found that explanation wanting.
"By the time they got around to filing in federal court, it was March 26, two days before the scheduled execution date," Alito said. "If the tactics of Murphy's attorneys in this case are not inexcusably dilatory, it is hard to know what the concept means."
In Trump, Hungary's Viktor Orban Has A Rare Ally In The Oval Office
WORLD
In Trump, Hungary's Viktor Orban Has A Rare Ally In The Oval Office

Alito observed that the court receives an application to stay virtually every execution. And, he said, these stay applications "are almost all filed on or shortly before the scheduled execution date; and in the great majority of cases, no good reason for the late filing is apparent. By countenancing the dilatory litigation in this case, the Court, I fear, will encourage this damaging practice."
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote separately for himself and Chief Justice John Roberts to distinguish between the Texas case involving Murphy, the Buddhist, whose execution was temporarily blocked by the court, and the Alabama case involving the Muslim, Domineque Hakim Ray, whose execution was allowed to go forward.
Murphy, he said, made the proper equal-treatment claim in court, while Ray's lawyers did not, leaving it to the appeals court to come up with that argument. And, disagreeing with Alito, Kavanaugh noted that 30 days before his scheduled execution, Murphy properly requested that his spiritual adviser be allowed in the execution room and that the state dragged its feet in providing a timely reply.
This was the second time Kavanaugh has opined on the Murphy case. When the court granted the stay of execution in March, Kavanaugh wrote a short concurring opinion in which he said that "in equal treatment cases of this kind," the government has two choices: Either allow all inmates to have a religious adviser of their faith in the execution room or allow all inmates to have a religious adviser only in the viewing room, but not the execution room. And he noted that states have a strong security interest in controlling the execution chamber.
On Monday, weighing in again, Kavanaugh was joined this time by the chief justice. Kavanaugh noted that five days after the March 28 stay of execution, Texas "changed its unconstitutional policy" to allow all religious ministers only in the viewing room and not in the execution room.
"Put simply, this Court's stay facilitated the prompt resolution of a significant religious equality problem with the State's execution protocol," he wrote. And that, he added, "should alleviate any future litigation delays or disruptions that otherwise might have occurred."
Maybe. But with tempers high on the subject of the death penalty, disagreements profound, and the issue centering literally on life and death, the reality is that the justices of the Supreme Court likely will be back in combat soon on this subject.
 
A very reasonable explanation. Sometimes its hard to remember the job of the supreme court is to follow the law, not do what they think is right.

When a court thinks they are there to do what's right, there are two problems. One is that they don't have that authority, it's too much power. The other problem is that allows bad laws to go ignored until you end up with a court that actually does its job.
 

TowinKarz

Thoroughly Unimpressed
kiwifarms.net
The whole reason for law is that you can't dispense justice based on what "feels right" or feels like "common sense".

Humanity didn't invent law to make a business out of law schools and attorney's fees, they did it because the old way of doing it based on what "felt right" , sucked.

Cutting off your head for offending my God "feels right" to someone, I'm sure.


I remember when the Washington Redskins case about having their trademark yanked for being "offensive" was ruled in their favor as the "disparaging" language of the trademark law was against the First Amendment, the usual suspects whined "How can they just rule on the law and not consider how it FEELS to natives?!"

Because you are entitled to your feelings, you aren't entitled to jail others based on them and only them, that's why. That is how the initial seed of tyranny is planted, when offending someone is a crime.....
 

Wraith

Wraith Pickles have skeletons, I swear!
kiwifarms.net
A very reasonable explanation. Sometimes its hard to remember the job of the supreme court is to follow the law, not do what they think is right.

When a court thinks they are there to do what's right, there are two problems. One is that they don't have that authority, it's too much power. The other problem is that allows bad laws to go ignored until you end up with a court that actually does its job.
Any judge that oversteps their authority, even retroactively decades into the past, needs to be either given the death penalty (I'm not tyring ot be funny,) or life in prison. It's a form of totalitarianism, a coup over the public. Activist judges are scum.
 
Any judge that oversteps their authority, even retroactively decades into the past, needs to be either given the death penalty (I'm not tyring ot be funny,) or life in prison. It's a form of totalitarianism, a coup over the public. Activist judges are scum.
Hang on now, we've got more reasonable checks and balances before the death penalty needs to be brought out I think...
 

Oh Long Johnson

Collecting your suffering when you die
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
The best thing about the law is that the letter of the law always agrees with my deeply held convictions and every one of those meddlesome activist judges you hear so much about holds views diametrically opposed to my own, clearly marking them as subhuman.
 

TowinKarz

Thoroughly Unimpressed
kiwifarms.net
We need to kill the death penalty. It’s fucking 2019 and we’re still arbitrarily murdering people based on what state they were convicted in.
It's not on the books in every state. In states where it is, it's up to local prosecutors if they want to seek it and local juries if they want to apply it. I'd submit it's already been discontinued in places where it was unpopular. That may make it look "arbitrary" but are you suggesting it should be mandatory? Instead of applied based on the merits of the case? The fact the same crime in different jurisdictions can result in different prosecutions does not make the justice system as a whole "arbitrary". One size does not fit all.

Hell, my home state has it on the books and I can't tell you the last time it was sought or handed down upon conviction.

I don't think we've actually executed anyone since 1999 when Gary Heidnik (charming fellow) got a lethal injection. And in 2015 the Governor put us on a temporary moratorium ceasing enforcement of it and nobody's made much clamor to see it back, that I know of.
 
  • Thunk-Provoking
Reactions: spiritofamermaid

millais

The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas
kiwifarms.net
You can release an innocent man who’s been wrongfully convicted. Can’t ressurect one.
I used to feel that way too and felt very strongly against the death penalty for that very reason, but then a libtard of all people sat me down and worked out the math in front of me to prove that it's cheaper by far for the state to execute an innocent man and then financially compensate his family for the wrongful execution rather than burden the taxpayer with the cost of decades of incarceration.

As a taxpayer, it seems a very persuasive argument to me.
 

Bean Cheese

kiwifarms.net
It’s not bait, it’s a statement of fact. The death penalty is outdated, inconsistent, and presents too great a risk of having innocent people murdered by the government.
Agreed. Let's cram our already overhoused prison system and feed the black hole even more pointless money. We can just blame the lack of taxpayer money for more dire projects on the boomers again.
 
Tags
None

About Us

The Kiwi Farms is about eccentric individuals and communities on the Internet. We call them lolcows because they can be milked for amusement or laughs. Our community is bizarrely diverse and spectators are encouraged to join the discussion.

We do not place intrusive ads, host malware, sell data, or run crypto miners with your browser. If you experience these things, you have a virus. If your malware system says otherwise, it is faulty.

Supporting the Forum

How to Help

The Kiwi Farms is constantly attacked by insane people and very expensive to run. It would not be here without community support.

We are on the Brave BAT program. Consider using Brave as your Browser. It's like Chrome but doesn't tell Google what you masturbate to.

BTC: 1EiZnCKCb6Dc4biuto2gJyivwgPRM2YMEQ
BTC+SW: bc1qwv5fzv9u6arksw6ytf79gfvce078vprtc0m55s
ETH: 0xc1071c60ae27c8cc3c834e11289205f8f9c78ca5
LTC: LcDkAj4XxtoPWP5ucw75JadMcDfurwupet
BAT: 0xc1071c60Ae27C8CC3c834E11289205f8F9C78CA5
XMR: 438fUMciiahbYemDyww6afT1atgqK3tSTX25SEmYknpmenTR6wvXDMeco1ThX2E8gBQgm9eKd1KAtEQvKzNMFrmjJJpiino