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December 22, 2006

Calling out the Sixth Circuit for making a capital mess

A deeply divided Sixth Circuit has been making a mess of death penalty administration in recent years.  As discussed here and here, lethal injection litigation developments have brought the issue to a new level of ugliness. 

Thus, it's not surprising that Ohio federal District Court Judge Gregory Frost is struggling to figure out applicable law as he faces numerous motions from Ohio death row inmates seeking stays of scheduled executions.  What is surprising is Judge Frost's willing to expressly call out the Sixth Circuit in his latest lethal injection opinion (discussed here).  Check out this passage from footnote three:

It is the hope of this Court that ... whatever panel entertains the likely appeal of the instant decision will explain its rationale in affirming or reversing this Court....  It would afford lower courts of this Circuit the necessary guidance that has thus far proved curiously elusive.

The bold and italics in this quoted passage come directly from Judge Frost's opinion.

Some related posts:

UPDATE: According to OPDI here, the Ohio AG's filed notice of its intent to appeal the Kenneth Biros stay of execution granted yesterday by Judge Frost.  Perhaps this will give the Sixth Circuit a chance to fulfil Judge Frost's request for the explanation and guidance that has been so far "curiously elusive."

December 22, 2006 at 09:23 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Dec 22, 2006 1:25:53 PM


If a judge thinks that a point bears emphasis (hence the bold and italics), why stick it in a footnote?

Posted by: Stan | Dec 22, 2006 10:03:33 PM

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