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April 17, 2008

The post-Baze uncertainty and litigation begins

As detailed in this effective post at SCOTUSblog, the post-Baze uncertainty and litigation has started before the ink on the Baze ruling is even dry.  Here are snippets from the SCOTUSblog post:

The state of Florida moved quickly on Thursday to get Supreme Court permission to carry out the execution of a death-row inmate, and a prisoner in Mississippi asked the Court to rule itself or tell a lower court to rule on his challenge to that state’s execution procedure.  These were the first filings in the Court in the wake of Wednesday's ruling upholding the basic elements of execution by use of lethal drug injections.

These filings, indicating that developments following the decision in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) will unfold rapidly, came in cases in which the Justices had delayed scheduled executions at a time when the Court was not permitting any state to go forward with a death sentence.

The two filings demonstrated that death-penalty states believe that the informal moratorium the Court has had in effect is now entirely over, so new executions may be scheduled as the states choose, and that lawyers for death-row inmates in states other than Kentucky are going to try to keep the inmates away from the death chamber while contesting the specifics of other states' procedures.

Florida filed a motion to vacate the stay the Supreme Court had issued on Nov. 15 in the case of Mark Dean Schwab (pending petition 07-10275); it also filed a brief opposing Schwab’s appeal....

In the new Mississippi filing, a supplemental brief, lawyers for death-row inmate Earl Wesley Berry contended that the lethal injection procedures used in that state provides fewer safeguards than under Kentucky's procedures for avoiding "serious harm" to the inmate during the execution process.  The case is Berry v. Epps, 07-7348.  The Court stayed his execution on Oct. 30.

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April 17, 2008 at 04:55 PM | Permalink


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Not surprisingly, two of the states that are moving most expeditiously are FL (see above) and VA (execution dates scheduled for June and July). FL Gov. Charlie Crist (Republican) and VA Gov. Tim Kaine (Democrat) are on their respective party's short list to be the Vice Presidential nominee.

Posted by: dm | Apr 17, 2008 5:18:33 PM

Since Berry filed so late, his stay should be lifted immediately. Mississippi should set a date, and he should be executed.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 17, 2008 5:30:21 PM

Will you join with me in demanding that his killing be show in schools, firehouses, and all government buildings, so that the people can really decide whether they want to participate in this killing. Or do we need to take the word of unelected bureaucrats that it is humane?

And, out of curiosity, what will you be doing to celebrate this killing? Will you be planting a tree? Going dancing? Getting drunk?

Posted by: S.cotus | Apr 17, 2008 11:16:25 PM

I prefer to call it justice. And celebration is not justified--that we execute means that people are murdered.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 18, 2008 12:17:50 AM

who the hell cares if it's humane or not...in spite of what you bleeding hearts believe, these freaks ARE NOT HUMAN AT ALL.....but their victims were !

that creep in florida,oba chandler, could be roasted over an open fire for all i care for what he did.....and should be televised too !

Posted by: rob c | Jun 5, 2009 5:58:23 PM

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