The Supreme Court today issued an orders list and rejected eleven Baze claims. Justice Stevens wrote brief opinions (here and here) relating to two of the cases where he said:

While I agree with the Court’s decision to deny certiorari in this case, it is appropriate to emphasize, as I have in the past, see, e.g., Knight v. Florida, 528 U. S. 990 (1999) (opinion respecting denial of certiorari); Singleton v. Commissioner, 439 U. S. 940, 942 (1978) (same), that the denial of certiorari expresses no opinion on the merits of the underlying claim.

Justice Stevens’ opinion in Baze revolved around the fact that the death penalty is unconsitutional but the court’s jurisprudence and the case at hand required him to join the majority in upholding Kentucky’s three-drug cocktail. It is likely that in another case, at another time, with a more direct challenge to the death penalty, Justice Stevens would infact join a majority that ruled capital punishment to be unconstitutional.


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