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January 12, 2006

More Alito Q & A on the death penalty

Following up on Senator Feingold's capital punishment questions late yesterday (details here) and  action in the Supreme Court (details here and here), Senator Leahy kicked off today's questioning of Justice Alito by asking about the death penalty, innocence, and DNA.  SCOTUSblog liveblogging here provides some highlights of an interesting dialogue.  This exchange might make the papers:

LEAHY: But you agree with Roberts that the Constitution does not countenance the execution of the innocent?

ALITO: The Constitution is designed to prevent that.

But what I found most fascinating was Senator Leahy's subsequent question to the effect of "Could the Senate Judiciary Committee issue and enforce a subpoena to have a convicted death row defendant come testify before Congress, if they issued it an hour before execution?".  Alito sensibly responded that he would have to think about the issue.  Bonus points to the staffer who devised this great idea and question. 

UPDATE: It appears, from this liveblog, that Senator Feingold returned to these innocence issues at the end of his questions on Thursday morning.

January 12, 2006 at 09:18 AM | Permalink


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