On Monday the court denied review in Walker v. Georgia, a case revolving around the court’s proportionality standard applied to the death penalty. The court has long struggled to find an adequate means of countering racist bias within the capital system and there is little doubt that the issue will rear its ahead again in the future.

For now, however, the court has pushed the issue aside. The case was not accepted and only Justices Stevens made his opposition known. In his statement (there is no dissent against a denial of cert.) he argued that Supreme Court of Georgia gave incomplete proportionality review. In doing so, he argues, they are furthering the “arbitrary or discriminatory imposition of death sentences in contravention of the Eighth Amendment.”

Justice Thomas wrote in a concurrence (which are allowed in cert. denials,) that proportionality is not a required test and that their proportionality test was correctly applied. He also echoes the sentiment of the majority in McCleskey v. Kemp that found “[a]pparent discrepancies are an inevitable part of our criminal justice system.”


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Random Posts

  • New OT08 Term Stats : With 43 opinions released, the Court has now released just over half of the opinions it will release for the term. Lets take a look at some ...
  • January Hearing List Released: The Supreme Court has released the Hearing List for the January sitting and you can find it here. Several high-profile advocates are back...
  • A Big Little Case: Next Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an interesting case about water law in Montana, PPL Montana v. Montana. The case wi...
  • Chief Justice Roberts and Unanimous Decisions: When he was nominated to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts mentioned that one of his main objectives as chief justice would be to cre...
  • Advocate Scorecard for OT 09: I finished this a while ago but neglected to post it until now. Whoops? Anyways, here is the OT 09 advocate scorecard with win/loss record. ...