Thursday, October 04, 2007

Christopher Scott Emmett Update

Based on the claim of inadequate counsel, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal of Christopher Scott Emmett who is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 17.

The Court did not rule on the question of whether lethal injection is cruel and unsual punishment under the Eighth Amendment; however, after agreeing to rule on the argument in a Kentucky case, Emmett will not likely be executed.

The Washington Post reports that Emmett's attorneys are trying to stave the execution by petitioning Gov. Tim Kaine to grant him clemency; they also appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to declare lethal injection unconstitutional as it is carried out in Virginia.

It will be interesting to watch how the Fourth Circuit rules with "five of 15 active seats vacant" and its conservative composition no longer a force.

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