Monday, June 26, 2006
From NY Times.com: In Kansas v. Marsh, New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito broke a tie Monday in a ruling that affirmed the state death penalty law.
The Kansas case was unique. The state law says juries should impose death sentences if aggravating evidence of a crime's brutality and mitigating factors explaining a defendant's actions are equal in weight.
In the 5-4 decision, the Court overturned a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that found the law violated the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas disputed the claim by critics that the law created ''a general presumption in favor of the death penalty in the state of Kansas.'' Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]