This past Monday the Supreme Court agreed to hear a Florida death penalty case that deals with how states determine whether a death row inmate is mentally disabled. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for states to execute someone who is mentally disabled, as it violated the Eight Amendment’s restrictions on cruel and unusual punishment. However, it allowed the states some flexibility on how they determine whether someone was mentally disabled. Nine states (including Florida and Idaho) use an IQ score of 70 as a cutoff for a mental disability. They deem anyone who scores above Continue reading Measuring Mental Disability and Death Penalty Cases
Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled that jails could strip search any new inmate regardless of their suspected crime. The majority opinion stated that it does not matter if an inmate is arrested for a minor offense such as an outstanding traffic violation, they can be subject to a strip search. Of course the decision was predictably 5-4, with the conservative justices voting in favor of suspicionless strip searches and the liberal judges voting against them. What I found most striking about the majority opinion is that Justice Kennedy invoked the "9/11 Defense" to support the majority argument. "Justice Kennedy responded Continue reading The Supreme Court Used the 9/11 Defense?