Thursday, June 26, 2003

Death penalty: Just finished reading (most of) the opinion/dissent. Yes most of it went over my head, and I haven't found any great legal minds beaking it down yet, but it seems Scalia makes a pretty good argument. He seems to say that the court threw out the penalty because they disagreed with defense counsel's chosen strategy, but that there was no proof of incompetence. I'm not familiar with the case law, but I gathered the standards for what qualifies as incompetent defense are pretty vague and have changed over time, including from the time the case was first heard/appealed and now. Was the majority applying current standards to a defense that was made under a different circumstances? I don't know, but I'm looking forward to hearing more about this.

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