- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
New Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito split with the court's conservatives Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.
Alito, handling his first case, sided with inmate Michael Taylor, who had won a stay from an appeals court earlier in the evening. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices
Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas supported lifting the stay, but Alito joined the remaining five members in turning down Missouri's last-minute request to allow a midnight execution.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060202/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_death_penaltyAn appeals court will now review Taylor's claim that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, a claim also used by two Florida death-row inmates that won stays from the Supreme Court over the past week. The court has agreed to use one of the cases to clarify how inmates may bring last-minute challenges to the way they will be put to death.
Sandra Day O'Connor, who had often been the swing vote in capital punishment cases. He was expected to side with prosecutors more often than O'Connor, although as an appeals court judge, his record in death penalty cases was mixed.
Scalia and Thomas have consistently sided with states in death penalty cases and have been especially critical of long delays in carrying out executions.
Sort of not what people were expecting from Alito.