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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…

Ohio court schedules 2nd execution attempt for Romell Broom

Romell Broom, photographed shortly after he survived a botched execution attempt in 2009.
Romell Broom, photographed shortly after he
survived a botched execution attempt in 2009.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court has set a new execution date for a convicted killer who survived a botched execution attempt in 2009.

The court last week scheduled the lethal procedure for death row inmate Romell Broom for June 17, 2020.

Broom was sentenced to die for abducting, raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in Cleveland in 1984.

The 62-year-old Broom is only the second U.S. inmate to survive an execution after the process began.

On September 15, 2009 Broom's execution was stopped by Gov. Ted Strickland after an execution team tried for two hours to find a suitable vein. 

Broom said he was stuck with needles at least 18 times, with pain so excruciating he cried and screamed.

Lawyers for Romell Broom argued that giving the state prisons agency a second chance would amount to cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy.

Broom's lawyers argued that no attempt to execute him could occur without violating his constitutional right prohibiting double jeopardy, and requested that he be taken off of death row.

In a court filing Broom's attorneys said, "His death sentence may no longer be carried out by any means or methods without violating the constitutional rights identified...he must be removed from death row and placed in the Ohio prison system's general population."

A divided Ohio Supreme Court rejected Broom’s arguments. At the time, the state asserted that lower courts properly determined that any mistakes happened during execution preparations, not the actual procedure.

Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley says Broom has stalled his execution for years with appeals.

Broom's attorneys say Broom has important appeals still pending.

Source: The Associated Press, May 23, 2017

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