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June 6, 2007

The SCOTUS death divide

Mark Sherman has today filed this effective AP story, entitled "4 Justices Often Side With the Condemned."  Here is a snippet:

No one on the Supreme Court publicly opposes the death penalty, but four justices often side with death row inmates who are fighting to avoid execution.  Though they are a minority on the nine-justice court, Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens win as often as they lose....

The court has been implacably split on this issue, as on others.  Roberts typically has been aligned with Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, opting to defer to the state courts that imposed and upheld death sentences....

"In the late '80s and early '90s, you were a rare defendant who won a death penalty case at the Supreme Court," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the anti-capital punishment Death Penalty Information Center. "Now there's a fair chance that if you can get Justice Kennedy, you'll win."

June 6, 2007 at 03:59 PM | Permalink

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