New Supreme Court Rulings Suggest Bad News for Death Row Inmates

New Supreme Court Rulings Suggest Bad News for Death Row Inmates

( – The US Supreme Court is the highest legal authority in the country, and as such, it holds a lot of power to shape the law. Since November 1, the Court has made some decisions about death row inmate petitions for relief that have some people wondering what the coming months may hold.

Two recent cases highlight the Supreme Court’s willingness to push through capital cases and carry on with executions. One was an inmate requesting a stay of execution due to intellectual disability. The other was an inmate requesting the attendance of his pastor within the death chamber. In both situations, the court dismissed the petitions.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed her dismay with her colleagues’ recent decisions, saying the court is rejecting credible relief claims. In one case, her dissenting opinion talked about how the court has never rejected death row petitions when both the defense and prosecution agree to the request.

A professor of law at Hofstra, Eric M. Freedman, called the Supreme Court impatient in its actions. He noted the rush seems to indicate how tired the justices are of last-minute death row appeals. Such feelings could reflect on their handling of other issues they see often, such as abortion.

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