Entries tagged with “Sonia Sotomayor

Executions

Methods of Execution

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Jan 26, 2024

The World is Watching”: Witnesses Report Kenneth Smith Appeared Conscious, Shook and Writhed” During First-Ever Nitrogen Hypoxia Execution

On January 25, 2024, Alabama exe­cut­ed Kenneth Smith using nitro­gen hypox­ia, a first in American his­to­ry. Though state attor­neys had assured courts that the method would cause uncon­scious­ness in sec­onds,” wit­ness­es report­ed that Mr. Smith appeared awake for sev­er­al min­utes after the nitro­gen gas began. They observed that he shook and writhed” for at least four min­utes before breath­ing heav­i­ly for anoth­er few min­utes. This was the fifth exe­cu­tion that I’ve wit­nessed in Alabama, and I have nev­er seen such a vio­lent reac­tion to an exe­cu­tion,” said media wit­ness Lee…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court

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Federal Death Penalty

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Oct 03, 2023

Analysis Shows Supreme Court’s Changing View of Death Penalty Cases

A recent analy­sis by Bloomberg Law con­clud­ed that death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers have few­er avenues to relief at the Supreme Court than ever before. Bloomberg iden­ti­fied 270 emer­gency requests to stay exe­cu­tions since 2013 and found that the Court agreed to block an exe­cu­tion just 11 times. Since 2020, when the Court shift­ed to a 6 – 3 con­ser­v­a­tive major­i­ty fol­low­ing the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the appoint­ment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the Court has grant­ed just two stays of exe­cu­tion. One, for John Henry Ramirez, chal­lenged not the execution…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court

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Apr 17, 2024

Justices Sotomayor and Jackson Issue Dissents Over Supreme Court’s Refusal to Review Two Capital Misconduct Cases

On Monday, April 15, Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Sonia Sotomayor issued dis­sents over the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the peti­tions of two death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers who alleged offi­cial mis­con­duct in their cas­es. In the first case, Dillion Compton alleged that Texas pros­e­cu­tors ille­gal­ly used thir­teen of their fif­teen peremp­to­ry strikes to remove female prospec­tive jurors because of their gen­der. In the sec­ond case, Kurt Michaels argued that California police offi­cers unlaw­ful­ly con­tin­ued to ques­tion him after he invoked his Miranda rights, lead­ing Mr. Michaels to even­tu­al­ly con­fess, and his confession…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court

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Apr 24, 2024

Supreme Court Roundup: Justices Hear Oral Arguments on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Cruel and Unusual Punishment; Defend Positions on Stays

On April 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argu­ments in Thornell v. Jones, a case impli­cat­ing the test for inef­fec­tive assis­tance of coun­sel — and the first and only oral argu­ment in a death penal­ty case sched­uled this term. Arizona appealed the Ninth Circuit’s deci­sion vacat­ing the death sen­tence of Danny Lee Jones, which found that Mr. Jones was prej­u­diced by his attorney’s fail­ure to present key mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence as to Mr. Jones’ brain dam­age, child­hood phys­i­cal and sex­u­al abuse, and psy­chi­atric prob­lems. The case marks the sec­ond time the Supreme Court…