Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ah, The Supreme Court. Life is Sacred - until, you know, they are born

The Supreme Court has overruled a district court AND precedent - although that ain't new - in order to kill a man on death row. And any others in this situation.

So what is "this" situation. Well, you can read it all here. But essentially the problem is that if the Court appoints a bad attorney, you can ask for a retrial. In the retrial you may be appointed a new attorney, with no promise they are better. You can appeal. This is called out in the 6th amendment:

Previous precedent from the Supreme Court, says you can appeal again if the second Attorney was also bad. In this case "bad" led this man to death row. (Martinez v. Ryan)

Court appointed lawyers are usually overworked and not always convinced of their clients innocence. These people aren't bad actors, but overworked people that don't have the time to check everything.

In this particular case, it was a rather gruesome sex and murder trail of a woman and her child. Like gruesome! Full account of trail and problematic issues here. But in this case, the defendant's lawyer did not do a very good job. I'll quote from the article:

“Had Jones’s lawyers been up to the task, there was plenty they could have done to defend their client. They could have pointed out that the lead detective, who examined Rachel at the hospital, didn’t bother to investigate how or when the child sustained her fatal injury — or consider a single other suspect aside from Jones. They could have called a medical expert to show that there was no real evidence that the child had been raped. Most crucially, Jones’s lawyers could have called a pathologist to challenge the state’s theory of the crime, which rested on a narrow timeframe during which Jones had supposedly assaulted Rachel the day before her death. Medical experts now say that Rachel’s abdominal injury could not have become fatal so quickly.”

So what changed. This is a crazy ass right wing court. 

The ruling, written by Clarence Thomas, says that only the evidence introduced by the (bad) attorney can be used in the appeal. So it the first attorney screwed up, THEN you can't prove later that the evidence showed the defendant could not have done it, because the bad attorney did not introduce that evidence.

In Arizona right now, this circular logic is now keeping the defendant on Death Row - even though he is innocent. America!

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