FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Connecticut court to rule on death penalty abolishment

The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to rule on whether to confirm or overturn its decision last year to abolish the state's death penalty.

Justices are expected to release their ruling Monday in the appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who was sentenced to death for ordering the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport.

The court ruled 4-3 in August that capital punishment was unconstitutional, striking down a 2012 law that abolished the death penalty for future murders but left it in place for 11 men already facing execution. 

The decision came in the appeal of another death row inmate, Eduardo Santiago.

The Supreme Court allowed state prosecutors in the Peeler case to address issues the court raised in the Santiago ruling.

Source: Associated Press, Feb. 29, 2016

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