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May 11, 2005

More on court reviews before death

Yesterday in this post I spotlighted parallels between the Terry Schiavo case and the on-going litigation in Connecticut seeking to prevent serial killer Michael Ross from volunteering to be the first person executed in the stae for more than 40 years.  Thanks to this post at TalkLeft, I see that Stephen Bright and Virgina Sloan in this National Law Journal opinion piece are also linking, though in a slightly different way, the Schiavo case to court review of death sentences.  Here are their concluding paragraphs:

The Schiavo law supporters appeared to agree that in life-or-death cases, there should be no obstacles to full federal court review.  Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., compared the Schiavo bill to "a horrific death penalty case in California," and urged his colleagues "to understand that [as in that case,] there is a proper role for Federal courts to look to make sure that due process was followed."

... The exonerations of people in prison and on death row have taught Americans a hard lesson — that our criminal justice system is fallible, and that a state court may convict the wrong person. This is especially true in capital cases, which engender great passions and place enormous pressures on judges and juries to convict and impose a death sentence. Congress should pass legislation providing for the same full federal court review of life and death decisions in capital cases that it provided for a single person in the Schiavo law.

May 11, 2005 at 01:11 PM | Permalink


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I am looking for Illionois Stae sentencing guidelines for reserach on a project for my corrections class.

Posted by: alda leavy | Jan 21, 2007 8:30:23 PM

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