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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

SCOTUS: Rejects 3rd Cir. Case Requesting Reinstated Death Penalty

Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected Pennsylvania's request for the court to review the case and reinstate a convicted murderer's death sentence.  Antuan Bronshtein's death sentence was commuted to a life sentence in an opinion written by Samuel Alito when he was still sitting on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bronshtein, who emigrated to the United States from Russia as a child, was convicted in the 1991 deaths of two Philadelphia-area jewelers, and sentenced to death for one of the murders. At issue in the case was a missed deadline. The prosecutor said that for the past decade the state has had a one-year deadline for appeals that "has been strictly applied, exactly as written, in both capital and noncapital cases." Alito, writing for a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit, said the deadline was not consistently enforced in death penalty cases. Alito's decision upheld Bronshtein's conviction, but said he was entitled to a new sentencing hearing.  To avoid a conflict of interest, Alito didn't participate in the Court's decision yesterday. More. . . [Mark Godsey]

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