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SCOTUS Notes

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No opinions out of the US Supreme Court this morning, summary or otherwise.  The orders list is here.  Regrettably, the Court declined to correct the Third Circuit a second time in the Kindler case, Justice Kagan recused.

1 Comment

The denial of cert. in Kindler is a serious dereliction of the Court's duty. Federal interference in state capital cases has gotten completely out of hand in many areas in the country. This case is particularly egregious, as the reaction of the Pennsylvania courts to a vicious murder who escaped from custody was worthy of respect from the federal courts under any standard. Yet, the Supreme Court stands by and allows victims to be revictimized again by a lawless judicial mugging. It is certainly true that the Supreme Court cannot deal with every case that blows off AEDPA, but this one cried out for remedy.

Certainly, if Maples deserves the Court's attention, then Kindler did. And Kindler is far more deserving of review. Maples is unquestionably guilty, and the "my attorneys abandoned me, even though the partner in charge told them that he was handling it" is certainly a highly fact-bound and rare case, yet there was SCOTUS at oral argument actually pressing the state of Alabama as to why it didn't simply waive the late filing (as if the State should bend over backwards to help capital murderers prosecute their appeals). Here, where a state court tries to protect the integrity of the judicial process, the Court is simply too busy. Try telling that to the victims' families.

Hopefully, a Congress of sense will simply remove federal habeas jurisdiction with respect to the review of the imposition of death sentences. The federal courts, and this includes SCOTUS, have shown themselves to be irresponsible when it comes to the death penalty.

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