Monday, May 23, 2005
In Deck v. Missouri, No. 04-5293, the court held that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' guarantee of due process bars the use of visible shackles during the penalty phase of a capital trial unless shackling is justified by the need for courtroom security or some other essential state interest specific to the particular defendant. Decision here.
In Medellin v. Dretke, No. 04-5928, the court dismissed as improvidently granted a case involving whether a failure to comply with the Vienna Convention's requirement that arrested foreigners be given access to their consular missions spoils a Mexican national's Texas capital murder conviction. The court said that, in light of the president's directive that the petitioner and other death row inmates others like him be given hearings called for by the International Court of Justice, it should not address the issues raised in the case.