Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a request to hear an Arizona case which challenged the constitutionality of the death penalty.
The same attorney who has headed up the challenge to President Trump’s travel bans – Neal Katyal, the former solicitor general for the Obama administration – had asked the Supreme Court last year to hear the case against Arizona’s capital punishment method, on behalf of Abdel Daniel Hidalgo, a man facing the death penalty for killing someone for $1,000 from a gang member.
Katyal claimed Arizona’s death penalty was unconstitutional because it “fails to narrow adequately the class of offenders eligible for the death penalty” and denies equal protection.
The Washington Examiner reported: The case, Hidalgo v. Arizona, questions the constitutionality of Arizona’s capital sentencing scheme, as well as the constitutionality of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment. The justices said Monday the court would not consider the case, with Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan “respecting the denial of certiorari.”
“In this case, the opportunity to develop the record through an evidentiary hearing was denied,” Breyer wrote in a statement supporting the court’s decision not to take up the case. “As a result, the record as it has come to us is limited and largely unexamined by experts and the courts below in the first instance.
“… Capital defendants may have the opportunity to fully develop a record with the kind of empirical evidence that the petitioner points to here. And the issue presented in this petition will be better suited for certiorari with such a record,” he continued.
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