Scalia, Innocence and the Death Penalty


Supreme Court Justice Scalia knows that convicted prisoners who prove innocence after they are sentenced to capital punishment, ruin any logical argument in favor of the death penalty as a rational outcome of our justice system. So he basically says: real innocence is irrelevant once declared guilty by a jury.

Justice Antonin Scalia criticized his colleagues for thinking that mere innocence is grounds to overturn a conviction:

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

So in Justice Scalia’s world, the law has no problem with sending an innocent man to die. One wonders why we even bother to have a Constitution.

via Think Progress » Scalia says there’s nothing unconstitutional about executing the innocent. .

RE: Troy Davis Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus No. 08-1443, Justice Scalia dissenting