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23 Sep

Scalia Ruled That the Constitution Doesn’t Prohibit Executing an Innocent Man

 

Scalia Ruled That the Constitution Doesn’t
Prohibit Executing an Innocent Man in Troy Davis Case

Submitted by mark karlin on Thu, 09/22/2011 – 7:52pm.

Beyond the emotional punch in the gut of Troy Davis’
execution – and the echoing cheers of a GOP debate audience for Rick Perry
killing so many people – it is worth remembering the role of Supreme Court
Justice Antonin Scalia in the Davis affair.

Because it was during an appeal to the Supreme Court in
2009 on behalf of Davis that Scalia – and BuzzFlash is not making this up –
actually wrote a dissenting opinion that there was nothing in the
Constitution that prevented a state from executing an innocent man (or woman).

How does BuzzFlash at Truthout know this?

Because we did a commentary back then on Scalia’s jaw-dropping constitutional assertion when
the decision was rendered. (The Supreme Court ordered a Georgia court to allow
Davis to present new evidence.)

In that 2009 commentary, we quoted from Scalia’s dissent*:

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.
Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while
expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual
innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

If the Constitution doesn’t protect us from being
executed even if we are innocent, then, Houston, we have a fundamental problem
of human rights in America.

*The McGlynn:

Justice Antonin Scalia’s actual words (joined in by no other than Judge Clarence Thomas):

The Georgia Supreme Court rejected petitioner’s “actual-innocence” claim on the merits, denying his extraordinary motion for a new trial. Davis can obtain relief only if that determination was contrary to, or an unreasonable application of, “clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.” It most assuredly was not. 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. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

One Response to “Scalia Ruled That the Constitution Doesn’t Prohibit Executing an Innocent Man”

  1. 1
    riverrat Says:

    The two of them should be impeached!

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