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Georgia Pardon Board Halts Execution: Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog has a post on the Georgia pardon board's decision to halt the execution of Samuel David Crowe, who was scheduled to die at 6pm tonight. Crowe had been sentenced to die for the armed robbery and murder of a lumber store clerk in 1988. The pardon board commuted Crowe's sentence from death to life without parole. Denniston reported yesterday that Crowe had filed a petition and a stay application with the U.S. Supreme Court, to delay his execution. The Court did not act on the application before the Georgia pardon board made its decision.

Shock Over Jury Sentence: Grits for Breakfast posted yesterday on a jury's decision to forgo a death sentence in favor of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The post explores why the Texas jury decided to choose a life sentence, when Juan Quintero had been convicted of murdering "one of Houston's finest police officers." The post explores several theories for the verdict, including the defense team's "top notch lawyering", but ultimately settles on the conclusion that the jury did not believe a death sentence was warranted in this case.

Popularity of Supreme Court Justices: Rasmussen Reports released the results of a national telephone survey assessing the approval rating of the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. 41% of the voters gave the Court good or excellent ratings, and 19% of the voters rated the Court's performance as poor. Over half (52%) of Republicans rate the Supreme Court good or excellent, just 39% of Democrats do the same. Among unaffiliated voters, 35% say the Justices are doing a good or excellent job. And in a separate survey, Republicans stated they found the Supreme Court judicial appointments to be a bigger issue than the War in Iraq.

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Thanks for the linkage to Grits! FYI, I had a followup to that post in which I interviewed the attorney who first chaired Quintero's defense, see here.

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