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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Georgia: Clemency hearing set for death row inmate set to be executed later this month

Joshua Bishop
Joshua Bishop
A clemency hearing is set for a Georgia death row inmate set to be executed later this month.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles announced Tuesday that it will hear from advocates for Joshua Bishop on March 30. Bishop is scheduled to die the next day.

Bishop was convicted of murder and armed robbery in the 1994 beating death of Leverett Morrison in Milledgeville.

The parole board is the only entity in Georgia authorized to commute a death sentence.

Bishop, Morrison and Mark Braxley had been drinking and smoking crack on June 24, 1994. 

Prosecutors say Bishop tried to steal keys from Morrison, who was sleeping, and beat Morrison to death when he woke up.

Bishop and Braxley dumped Morrison's body between 2 trash bins and burned his Jeep.


Execution date set in 1994 Millegeville murder case 

A man convicted of a 1994 murder and armed robbery in Milledgeville is scheduled to die by lethal injection on March 31 at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, according to a news release from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Joshua Bishop, now 41, was sentenced to die in the electric chair 2 years after the June 1994 slaying of Leverett Lewis Morrison, a 43-year-old Milledgeville native who had traveled from Savannah to visit his children that summer.

Morrison had been out drinking that evening with Bishop and Mark Braxley, a 57-year-old currently serving a life sentence for his part in the killing, according to The Telegraph's archives. The 3 men returned to a mobile home off Linton Road.

Bishop and Braxley planned to steal Morrison's Jeep Wagoneer. The 2 bludgeoned Morrison's head and face with a blunt object, which was never found. After Morrison died, the 2 men wrapped his body in a sheet, placed it near a trash bin and burned his Jeep.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied Bishop's appeal request in October 2014, the release said. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will meet March 30 with representatives willing to advocate clemency for Bishop.

Sources: AP, macon.com, March 16, 2016

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