DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens makes political slam against death penalty, jury selection & legal representation for murderers....

Sunday, August 07, 2005

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens makes political slam against death penalty, jury selection & legal representation for murderers....

Ultra-liberal Supreme Court Justice Stevens is concerned about the rights of death row inmates and other deadly criminals like them in the legal process of holding them accountable and punishing them for their heinous crimes. He made it clear he finds many flaws in our administration of criminal justice.

In an unusually political diatribe, Stevens attacked everything from capital punishment to inadequate representation for murderers and the swaying influence of victim-impact statements. Heaven forbid that victims should have any rights or a voice in the criminal justice process.

This antique, 87 year old moonbat---who is experiencing so much angst from the departure of Sandra Day O'Connor from the Supreme Court---needs to follow suit and take his leave from the highest court in the land as well.

I agree with nominee to the Supreme Court John G. Roberts, Jr., that there should be 20 year term limits on federal court Judges and S. Ct. Justices. And there should also be a maximum age of 55 for nomination. S. Ct. Justices are too isolated from mainstream society and over long years of service tend to evolve into cliques who vote with those with whom they associate, like or are influenced by.

It's time for a change.... and for judicial reform.

More below and here.
"Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens issued an unusually stinging criticism of capital punishment Saturday evening, telling lawyers that he was disturbed by "serious flaws."
Stevens stopped short of calling for an end to the death penalty, but he said there are many problems in the way it is used....

Other Supreme Court justices, including Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have also spoken out about concerns that defendants in murder cases are not adequately represented at trial. But Stevens, 85, made a much harsher and sweeping condemnation.

He said the jury selection process and the fact that many trial judges are elected also work against accused murderers. He also said that jurors might be improperly swayed by victim-impact statements.

Stevens, named to the high court by President Ford in 1975, is considered one of the most liberal justices. In recent years he has been influential in votes that barred states from executing mentally retarded killers and those who were juveniles when they committed their crimes.

The Supreme Court frequently splits 5-4 in capital cases, and often O'Connor is the pivotal vote.
O'Connor, 75, announced last month that she was retiring, and Stevens told lawyers that her departure was "sad news for me." "It's really a very, very wrenching experience," he said....

Juries might not be balanced because people who have qualms about capital punishment can be excluded by prosecutors, he said. And he questioned whether potential jurors are distracted by extensive questions about their views on the death penalty.

In addition, Stevens said a statement from a victim's family "serves no purpose other than to encourage jurors to decide in favor of death rather than life on the basis of their emotions rather than their reason...."

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