Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Scalia: Constitution Does Not Forbid Execution of the Innocent

In the majority opinion in the Troy Davis case, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing.” Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas objected to the court’s decision. Scalia criticized his colleagues for thinking that mere innocence is grounds to overturn a conviction. Scalia wrote, “This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.” We’ll have more on Troy Davis’s case on Wednesday.


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