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No Stay for the Sniper

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The U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for convicted D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad and denied his certiorari petition. Virginia takes the bold step of setting an execution date after the federal court of appeals decides the habeas petition, not waiting for the certiorari petition to the Supreme Court to be resolved. Justices Stevens and Ginsburg are unhappy with that, and new Justice Sotomayor has joined the call to stay all such cases until consideration of the certiorari petition in the normal course.

The Court did not accept any new cases for review in its Monday orders list. The Belmontes, Porter, and Wellons cases noted here are not on the list and will presumably be relisted for a later conference.

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Justices Stevens, Ginsburg and Sotomayor may need to redo their statement for the next guy in line in Virginia:

http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/09-444.htm

There's something refreshing about Virginia's approach.

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