December 20, 2007
Capital news from SCOTUS (even as it enjoys its 4-week vacation)
The hardest-working court in law business is in the middle of its month-long holiday recess. But, as detailed in new SCOTUSblog posts, that does not mean there isn't any death penalty news coming from the Court. Specifically, check out these two new posts for interesting news on distinct capital fronts:
- US: No confrontation right at sentencing: "The Justice Department has urged the Supreme Court to allow the lower courts to continue to explore — without the Justices' involvement — whether to apply the Sixth Amendment right to confront one’s accusers to sentencing hearings, including those involving the death penalty...."
- Early release of Baze audiotape: "The Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will promptly release the audiotape of the oral argument on Monday, Jan. 7, in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) — the Kentucky case testing the constitutionality of the three-drug protocol for execution by lethal injection...."
December 20, 2007 at 12:30 PM | Permalink
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the confrontation issue at the aggravator
determination hearing, or second phase,
seems simple to me following Apprendi and
Ring. It is now clear that the determination
of the fact which increases Murder
Simpliciter to the greater crime of Murder
with at least on aggravator is now a trial
to which the Sixth Amendment jury trial
right applies. Which means the confrontation
right should also apply since it is no
longer just a sentencing hearing.
I don't see what the problem is.
Posted by: bruce cunningham | Dec 20, 2007 1:25:17 PM
I'd be remiss for not noting that the SCOTUS is holding two Nevada cases with this exact issue, presumably waiting for Fields. There are at least four more capital cases possibly being held for the same Confrontation Clause issue. If the Court doesn't grant cert in Fields, I'm expecting a hold pending disposition of the issue in another case.
Posted by: karl | Dec 20, 2007 7:41:31 PM