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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Just Made it Easier to Execute the Innocent

It should be clear by now that we are dealing with a SCOTUS bench that does not place great weight on individual rights and especially on the rights of the accused. Today in Shinn v. Martinez, a 6-3 (guess who) SCOTUS decision made it even harder for an incarcerated individual claiming innocence to be heard […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Will SCOTUS Hear Case Of Texas Man Who’s Spent 27 Years in Solitary? Probably Not.

When Robert Dennis Wayne Hope was 22 years old, in 1980, he went on a robbery spree. Using a handgun he robbed five stores. No one was injured. He was sentenced to 80 years to life. After a few years in a maximum security Texas prison, he and another inmate slipped through a hole in […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

SCOTUS Today To Hear Arguments On Issue Important to Wrongfully Convicted – Literally on a Life or Death Issue

Oral arguments are scheduled today before the US Supreme Court in the case of Shinn v. Ramirez and Jones, a case out of Arizona involving whether defendants who were convicted and sentenced to death could argue in Federal Court that their post-conviction lawyers were ineffective if they did not first make that argument in State […]

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Constitutional Law

Dustin Higgs’ Execution Was Wrong and What Sotomayor Had to Say About it is Right.

The Supreme Court allowed the execution of  Dustin Higgs late Friday, making Higgs the thirteenth person to be killed by the federal government since July. Since July. And after seventeen years without a single federal execution. Higgs’ execution was a miscarriage of justice for a number of issues. First of all, he was suffering from covid-19 […]

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Criminal Law

Did Missouri Just Execute an Innocent Man? Very Likely.

One death in the large daily death toll from yesterday stands out because it did not come as result of the covid-19 virus. Instead, Walter Barton’s death came shortly after 6 p.m. when the State of Missouri injected him with a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital at the Missouri Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Wrongful Convictions

Three Sotomayor Dissents on Death Penalty Cases Are the Voice of Reason on the Issue

I am opposed to the death penalty. While my opposition principally comes from my work in wrongful conviction cases, my opposition is to the death penalty in all cases – even where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming or where the details of the crime are horrific and gruesome. I just feel it is a […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Of Mice and Men and Death in Texas: SCOTUS to Review Use of “Lennie” Standard in Death Penalty Cases

In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States in Atkins v. Virginia ruled that executing an intellectually disabled person was a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” Here’s what Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his opinion:”Construing and applying the Eighth Amendment in the light of […]

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General

Death Penalty Dad Trying to Taint Jury Must Be Stopped

No one in their right mind can actually blame Dr. William Petit for wanting blood.  In 2007, his wife and two daughters were viciously slain during a home invasion robbery.  Since then he has become a famous advocate for the death penalty and has gained national recognition for his testimony before legislative bodies in favor […]