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February 25, 2023

Cruising around some early commentary on Cruz v. Arizona

Perhaps in part because the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet issued that many notable opinions, and perhaps in part because every capital case that leads to an interesting 5-4 split ruling garners attention, there has been a good bit of early commentary regarding this past week's decision in Cruz v. Arizona, No. 21–846 (S. Ct. Feb 22, 2023) (available here), on behalf of a death row defendant. Here is a sampling:

At Crime & Consequences from Kent Scheidegger, "Supreme Court Reinstates Review of Arizona Murderer’s Case"

At Esquire from Charles P. Pierce, "Terrible Ideas Keep Inching Closer to Reality, Thanks to Supreme Court Conservatives"

At The Hill from Austin Sarat, "Supreme Court delivers rare victory for death row inmate: the chance to spend rest of his life behind bars"

At SCOTUSblog from Alexis Hoag-Fordjour, "In rare win for people on death row, justices chide Arizona for ignoring Supreme Court precedent"

At Slate from Leah Litman, "The Supreme Court Did Something Rare: Enforced a Precedent Conservatives Hate"

At the Washington Post from Ruth Markus, "The justices halt an execution — and reveal themselves in the process"

February 25, 2023 at 05:49 PM | Permalink


One commentary noted that this 5-4 split was the same line-up as the narrow win in Nance v. Ward, another that, if decided only a couple years earlier, almost certainly would have been 7-2.

Posted by: John | Mar 1, 2023 12:32:14 PM

This shows the fundamental self-absorption of the Supreme Court. Perish the thought that a state court, in sympathy to victims of a heinous crime, would try to end the endless appeals in this case. But the Supreme Court tolerates all sorts of funny business when it comes to death sentences tossed by federal courts of appeals. It twists words when it comes to "abandonment." It allows NY to flout Second Amendment protections, and the list goes on and on and on.

Posted by: federalist | Mar 1, 2023 1:47:16 PM

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