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

  • Uninterrupted Distributions Count for OT10 Cases: Docket pages for each case at the Supreme Court list when a case is distributed for a given conference and, therefore, up for consideration....
  • Justice Ginsburg and the Future of the Court: One can only hope that Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) horded the tasteless Intrade contract for "Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Be Next Justice to Depar...
  • 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...
  • Rate of 5-4 Majority Opinion Authorship: As a general matter, the Justices that tend to carry the greatest ideological authority on the Supreme Court should be the ones authoring th...
  • Early OT09 Stats: I've finally finished the first edition of my OT09 statistics. First, the links: Term Index and Term Opinion Breakdown. Honestly, the nam...