Thursday, January 26, 2006

Is Chief Justice Roberts an Abolitionist?

Once again, my heart is-a-flutter, the Supreme Court stopped the execution of Clarence Hill in a Florida prison just as he was about to get zapped.

CNN is reporting that Justice Kennedy ordered a temporary stay, with at least four justices consenting.

For the record, this makes the third time the Supreme Court ruled in favor of death inmates since Roberts joined the court.

One could hardly imagine Alito voting to vacate any death penalty conviction, as Roberts recently did in the case of Darrick Demorris Walker. He was the poor sap who had been convicted and sentenced to die in Virginia through perjurious testimony cops knew to be false.

Or that Alito would agree to hear the case of Paul Gregory House, a death row inmate who was convicted and sentenced to die in Tennesee. At trial, DNA evidence was presented that upon further examination turned out to belong to the victim’s husband.

As evidence proved during the Senate confirmation hearing, there is no reason to expect Alito to have a kind heart and stop “settl[ing] all issues in a light most favorable… to law enforcement,” as Sen. Leahy noted.

Whether the stay of execution becomes permanent or Hill ultimately meets his maker, ¿Quién sabe? But I have to register my fetching observation, three out of three rulings from the Court in favor of true justice since Roberts joined ain’t bad at all!

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