Thomas on Execution Stay: He does not find “any constitutional support” for Stevens’s Position

December 2nd, 2009

Still no opinions, though check out Justice Thomas’s concurrence in denial of cert on a stay of execution case. H/T SCOTUSBlog

It has been 14 years since JUSTICE STEVENS proposed this “novel” Eighth Amendment argument. Lackey, supra, at 1045. I was unaware of any constitutional support for the argument then. See Knight v. Florida, 528 U. S. 990, 990 (1999) (THOMAS, J., concurring in denial of certiorari).And I am unaware of any support for it now. There is simply no authority “in the American constitutional tradi-tion or in this Court’s precedent for the proposition that   can avail himself of the panoply of appellate and collateral procedures and then complain when his execution is delayed.” Thompson v. McNeil, 556 U. S. ___, (2009) (slip op., at 1) (THOMAS, J., concurring in denial of certiorari) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Petitioner cites no evidence otherwise and, for all his current complaints about delay, did not raise a Lackey objection to the speed of his proceedings in the 1999 ha-beas petition he filed 18 years into his tenure on death row. See ante, at 4–5, n. 3.

One of the aspects I love most about opinions concurring in denial of cert, is the Justices let loose.

Undeterred, JUSTICE STEVENS insists that petitioner’s Eighth Amendment claim warrants relief. It does not, and JUSTICE STEVENS’ arguments to the contrary stand in stark contrast not only to history and precedent, but also to his own recent statement in Muhammad v. Kelly, 558 U. S. ___ (2009) (slip op., at 1) (statement respecting de-nial of certiorari) decrying the “perversity of executing inmates before their appeals process has been fully con-cluded.” In JUSTICE STEVENS’ view, it seems the State can never get the timing just right. The reason, he has said, is that the death penalty itself is wrong. McNeil, supra, at ___ (slip op., at 4) (statement respecting denial of certio-rari) (citing Baze v. Rees, 553 U. S. 35, ___ (2008) (STEVENS, J., concurring in judgment) (slip op., at 8, 17)). But that is where he deviates from the Constitution and where proponents of his view are forced to find their sup-port in precedent from the “European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, the Supreme Court of India, or the Privy Council.” Knight, supra, at 990 (THOMAS, J. concurring in denial of certiorari)

Don’t mock the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has gotten rid of their hyper-inflated currency, and now deals in dollars.

SCOTUS, I want opinions! has thousands of votes, and they need to be ranked. KThnxBye.