Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves The Supreme Court and the Death Penalty.
According to The Washington Post; The Supreme Court will not consider to hear a challenge to new federal death penalty protocols proposed by the Justice Department, which could clear the way for the government to resume executions as early as July for the first time since 2003.
The court, declined Monday to take up the lawsuit filed by four death row inmates. As is customary, it gave no reason. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated that they would have accepted the case.
This decision removes a significant barrier to resuming federal executions, though it does not mean they will automatically proceed as scheduled. The individual inmates facing execution could file additional challenges, which could affect whether and when these sentences are carried out.
The attorney for one of the inmates claim that the Justice Department is pushing to execute the four men, linking the move to the ongoing protests nationwide against police violence and racial injustice.
The back story to this was Attorney General William P. Barr had announced last summer that the department planned to resume executions using a new lethal injection procedure that involves a single drug, pentobarbital. After the original timetable was scuttled by challenges to the new lethal injection procedures, the Justice Department laid out a new schedule, announcing plans to carry out three executions in July and a fourth in August. All involve inmates convicted of murdering children.
A panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the spring ruled 2 to 1 that the executions could move forward.
Two judges Gregory Katsas and Neomi Rao, both recent nominees of President Trump lifted the district judge’s injunction. But the two disagreed on the legal reasoning.
Katsas concluded that the law applies only to the top line choice among execution methods, such as whether to use lethal injection instead of hanging or electrocution.
On the other hand, Rao, found that the law also requires the federal government to follow execution procedures set forth in state law, but not procedures set forth in less formal state execution protocols.