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January 27, 2006

Now what in Florida and Texas?

Because the Supreme Court decided last night, as noted here, to permit Indiana to go forward with a lethal injection execution (after vacating a last-minut stay granted by the Seventh Circuit), I am now wondering how litigation will unfold in Florida and Texas, which are both scheduled to conduct executions on Tuesday according to this page at the Death Penalty Information Center.

This newspaper article from Florida discusses death row defendant Arthur Rutherford's case.  The article indicates that Rutherford's lawyer believes that the stay granted by the Supreme Court in Hill (discussed here and here) will lead to a delay in Rutherford's execution.  But, after last night's execution in Indiana, I do not think that's a given.  Adding intrigue, as the Florida article details, Rutherford is pursuing state court appeals claiming he has "new evidence that could exonerate him."

Meanwhile, I can find very little recent press coverage about the Texas defendant, Jaime Elizalde, scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.  But this article from two weeks ago indicates that he is also pressing innocence claims.  Hmmmm.

UPDATEThis comment to a prior post by Prof. Adam Thurschwell and this comment dialogue at SCOTUSblog and richness and intrigue to what's going on in Hill and subsequent cases.  It does not necessarily answer, however, exactly how all the post-Hill litigation may play out over the next few months in various states.

January 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

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