Good News: victory on the death penalty
Another bit of Good News comes again, from the Supreme Court. Must be that spring is in the air and everyone is feeling giddy.
On March 28, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas, a state inordinately fond of the death penalty, used an obsolete standard in determining whether a defendant has an intellectual disability that would preclude execution.
That case was that of Bobby Moore, 57, convicted 37 years ago of fatally shooting a grocery store clerk during a robbery.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that the execution of people who are intellectually disabled violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In this case, the justices ruled 5-3 that Texas's system for assessing the intellect of defendants is deficient and not based on medical expertise.
The case was sent back to lower courts for a reassessment of Moore's mental capacity.
The victory here may be temporary - Moore could still be sentenced to death on re-hearing - but I regard any block jammed into the machinery of the death penalty to be good news.