US Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama’s Capital Sentencing Scheme

We wrote in March, 2015 about the possibility of the US Supreme Court reviewing the concept of Judicial Override in Capital Murder cases. This scheme allows a judge to “override” a jury and sentence a defendant to death despite the jury’s recommendation. This week, the US Supreme Court ruled in Hurst v. Florida that this sentencing structure violates the 6th Amendment to the Constitution.

This is good news.

We have long been troubled by the concept of override, especially since Alabama’s Circuit Judges are elected officials, and therefore subject to popular opinion over what may be right.

We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision, and see this as another step toward abolishing the death penalty in general. As we stated on this blog in March we have no real problem with the concept of death as a punishment for the most cruel and heinous crimes, we have long been troubled by its unequal and disproportionate use against the poor and disenfranchised in practice.

Hopefully we will soon see the end of death by the government.

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