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November 10, 2004

Today's SCOTUS death penalty case

I know death is different, and I know we should always be especially careful in the administration of society's ultimate punishment, but I am still always amazed with how much Supreme Court time (not to mention, of course, lower court time) gets consumed by the death penalty.  (Perhaps someone has run the actual numbers, but I would guess that death eligible crimes comprise less than .01% of all crimes, while capital cases likely take up 30% to 40% of appellate courts' criminal docket.) 

In any event, today's Supreme Court death penalty case, Brown v. Payton, involved a relatively intricate habeas issue.  You can get background on the case and briefs from the SCOTUS Blog here, and a report on the argument from this AP article.  It is interesting to speculate, in light of this prior post noting complaints about the pace of California death sentences moving through the appellate process, whether this particular case caught the Justices' attention because it came out of the Ninth Circuit.

November 10, 2004 at 05:45 PM | Permalink

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Former guest blogger Douglas Berman, at his home blog, begins a post on the Court's latest oral arguments thus: I know death is different, and I know we should always be especially careful in the administration of society's ultimate punishment... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 11, 2004 9:09:05 AM

Comments

It's a 9th Circuit case; the issue, as I understand it, is whether the 9th Circuit correctly concluded that the state court's interpretation of fed law was unreasonable under the AEDPA. Does anyone think cert was granted to affirm?

Posted by: Michael Ausbrook | Nov 10, 2004 7:15:56 PM

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