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

  • OT 08 Term Statistics: With the release of several opinions this week, the Court has now released 26 opinions for the term. Its time to take a look at some of the ...
  • Final Term Index: Here is the final Term Index for October Term 2009. OT09_term_index_final
  • Lawyers Admitted to the SCOTUS Bar: Stats come from the Journal of the Supreme Court. .PDF
  • PDF Packs for the Past Decade: I've been pillaging the Supreme Court's website in search of PDFs that I can archive for future reference. Using the Court's website and the...
  • Justice Thomas' History at Oral Argument: The big news in the world of the Supreme Court today is that Justice Thomas finally spoke at oral argument. It is not clear exactly what he ...