Justice Scalia, in a dissent joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that the federal courts would be powerless to assist [a death row inmate] even if he could categorically establish his innocence.
“This court has never held,” Justice Scalia wrote, “that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”
Usually I've read Supreme Court cases before I go spouting off an opinion about them on this blog, and you can rest assured that I will read this case, but I don't have time to do it today and I don't think its necessary in order to form an opinion about this. There is enough prima facie evidence to conclude that the dissent was deeply wrong.
These guys are so wrapped around the axle about their procedural rules that they are willing to actually kill innocent people simply because their bureaucratic process requires them to do so?!
The basic principle that the United States of America does not execute people who are demonstrably innocent should not be subject to debate.
This dissent will be remembered for years to come as the moment when conservative judicial philosophy was utterly discredited.