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October 17, 2007

Supreme Court, continuing de facto moratorium, grants execution stay in Virginia

The latest news from inside the Beltway, as detailed in this new order, is that the Justices have yet again granted a stay to prevent a state from going forward with a lethal injection execution.  As detailed in this AP report, the latest stay comes in a Virginia case.

The Supreme Court decides cases and motions; it is not in the business of officially declaring executions moratoriums.  Nevertheless, despite the sound and cautious analysis from Kent at C&C and Lyle at SCOTUSblog, I am prepared to assert that the Supreme Court has essentially decided that it should perpetuate a de facto national moratorium on lethal injection executions at least until the Baze case gets going (and probably until the Baze is decided on the merits sometime in 2008). 

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October 17, 2007 at 05:36 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Once again, the US Supreme Court demonstrates the utter irresponsibility of the federal courts in supervising state executions. Under Hill v. McDonough, a unanimous Supreme Court decision, federal courts are supposed to toss these last-minute late-filed appeals. And when lower courts follow the Supreme Court's decision, they get reversed. This is garbage. And the US Supreme Court ought to be ashamed of its lawless behavior.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 17, 2007 6:46:21 PM

Federalist, you forgot to cite Bush v. Gore to support your argument.

Posted by: Michael Levine | Oct 17, 2007 7:23:05 PM

federalist,

That aspect of Hill you rely on was (1) wrongly decided and (2) not contravened here regardless. Hill--in dicta, mind you--states that when a death-sentenced person brings his challenge at a time so late that it would be impossible for a court to hear it on the merits without entrance of a stay of execution, then he may not be entitled to a stay.

In any event, Hill's principle that waiting until an anticipated harm becomes imminent to ask for prospective injunctive relief may disentitle one to equitable relief is nonsensical in the context of THE LAW (applicable to everybody in federal courts but death-sentenced persons), which clearly and very plainly holds that entitlement to prospective injunctive relief requires the anticipated harm to be imminent. See, e.g., City of Los Angeles v. Lyons; O'Shea v. Littleton. It's your Hill proposition that is lawless.

Posted by: DK | Oct 17, 2007 7:32:50 PM

PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY YOU ARE STOPPING THIS AND NOT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE CRIME THE PERSON COMMITTED AND HOW HE DID IT.WHY ARE WE COVETING HIM AND LETTING THE CRIME HE COMMITED WITH CRIMINAL CONTENT GIVING HIM COTTON GLOVES AN BABBING HIM WHEN HE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE SAME AS HE GAVE THE SAME AS HE GAVE HIS VICTIM..WHY ARE WE SO SOFT IN THE USA ON OUR CRIMINALS.ARE WE STUPID OR WHAT...DO WE WANT THEM OUT TO DO THIS AGAIN OR WHAT..THINK PEOPLE.WHY ARE WE HERE FOR THERE VERDICT.TO SET THEM FREE TO DO THIS AGAINAOR WHAT .FORGIVE AN BE A DUMB ASS OR GET RID OF THEM...BE FOR REAL....

Posted by: RONNIE MAUCK | Oct 17, 2007 8:14:10 PM

Could someone explain the portion of the Court's order that states the execution is "stayed pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit"? What further proceedings might one expect in the Fourth Circuit? When might those proceedings occur?

Posted by: anon | Oct 17, 2007 11:28:21 PM

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