Wednesday, April 25, 2007

SCOTUS to Texas CCA: Our opinions aren't just suggestions

For now, at least, US Supreme Court rulings aren't just "suggestions" in Texas, but we're getting awfully close to that point, at least regarding rulings in capital punishment cases.

Via SCOTUS Blog, More capital bench-slapping of the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals at the US Supreme Court, though what were once routine 7-2 opinions in this vein today became 5-4 opinions with the addition of Justices Roberts and Alito to the court. No matter, for now the established jurisprudence the rest of the country must follow regarding the execution of the retarded and mentally ill still applies to the Lone Star State - so long, that is, as our current president does not enjoy one more Supreme Court appointment before the end of his term.

Capital Defense Weekly called the trio of death penalty rulings today a "sweep" for the UT Austin Capital Punishment Clinic.

The majority opinion called the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling in Smith v. Texas "misguided," declaring that their interpretation “fail[ed] to disturb the basic legal principle that continues to govern such cases."

Well, folks, that's why Texas Monthly called them "Texas' worst court."

MORE from Capital Defense Weekly. Doc Berman has more links and can't resist noticing the lack of "consensus" promised by the new Chief Justice. The StandDown Texas blog rounds up national and Texas news coverage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How can the CCA in Austin, especially Courts one and 14 get by with agreeing with all the courts in Harris County? One answer is the Judges are all from that area. No one from Harris County ever gets an appeal or a fair ruling. Harris County DAs and lawyers all work for together to get everyone to accept a deal and then when they do, the appeal is denied. I talked with one ADA and the first words from his mouth were there will be no deal offered. Now, why would he say that? That is because then no one has to work to win or lose a case and the State has to pay for that person to go to prison and Harris County wins another one. That is all the Judges and DAs in Harris County, TX care about.

When will this type of injustice be stopped??