Friday, October 15, 2010

Law Review Article: Finality, habeas, innocence, and the death penalty: Can justice be done?







ARTICLE: FINALITY, HABEAS, INNOCENCE, AND THE DEATH PENALTY: CAN JUSTICE BE DONE?

NAME: Ellyde Roko

Abstract

In 1995, Judge Betty Binns Fletcher posed a question: In the context of the death penalty, can justice be done? She did not answer the question at the time. However, an examination of the procedural hurdles now facing condemned inmates seeking review of claims of constitutional violations suggests the answer is no. Too often courts, including the Supreme Court, have favored finality over fairness, elevating strict adherence to procedural rules over the responsibility to make sure justice is done. Nowhere is the problem clearer than in the arena of actual innocence, where the failure to consider a condemned inmate's claim on the merits could lead to the execution of an innocent person



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