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January 25, 2006

What's SCOTUS doing in the Hill case?

As detailed here, late yesterday the Eleventh Circuit rejected various claims by death row defendant Clarence Hill, who was scheduled to be executed at 6pm on Tuesday in Florida.  And, according to this  story, "Hill had been strapped to a gurney and IV lines were running into his arms Tuesday night," but had not yet been executed when Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a stay around 7pm.

According to one press account, "Kennedy's order gave the court more time to consider whether the chemicals used in Florida's lethal injections cause pain and are cruel and unusual punishment."  The latest AP account likewise suggests the constitutionality of Florida's lethal injection protocol is the reason for the delay.  But the only information I can now find on the SCOTUS website are these orders indicating that at least some of Hill's claims were rejected by the full court.  Where's the SCOTUSblog team when I need them?

Notably, as discussed here, last week the Florida Supreme Court rejected Hill's claims that questions about Florida's lethal injection protocol should delay his execution.  Apparently, it was almost (but not quite) too late when the Justices had a chance to consider this claim.

UPDATE:  Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog is now reporting here that "the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear an appeal by Clarence E. Hill, a Florida death row inmate who is challenging the method that the state uses to carry out executions."  This is important and surprising news, which I will coment upon in a subsequent post.

January 25, 2006 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

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» High Court Steps In, Blocks Fla. Execution from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
Florida death row inmate Clarence Hill won a last-minute Supreme Court stay Tuesday night about an h [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 25, 2006 12:48:45 PM

» Court to hear Florida death penalty case from SCOTUSblog
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear an appeal by Clarence Edward. Hill, a Florida death row inmate who is challenging the method that the state uses to carry out executions. The Court will consider whether Hill was entitled... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 25, 2006 3:38:19 PM

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