The US Supreme Court building taken in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
In a ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court made it difficult for prison inmates to win release, banned federal courts from conducting preliminary hearings, and after being convicted in state courts, lawyers acted as appropriate legal representatives. We also considered new evidence of the allegations that we did not provide people.
All six conservatives of the Supreme Court voted in the majority of the case. This is related to two Arizona prison inmates on death row in separate murders. They challenged the legality of imprisonment.
All three liberal judges in the court disagreed with the majority opinion written by Judge Clarence Thomas.
In Thomas’s opinion, the federal district court in Arizona is a prisoner, David Martinez, in support of the allegations that the defense lawyer provided “ineffective support for the lawyer” in the post-conviction proceedings. I made a mistake when considering the new evidence presented by Ramirez and Barry Lee Jones.
Mr Thomas said federal courts could only consider evidence already presented in state court case records.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor called the majority opinion “terrible” and “illogical” in her fierce opposition. She said the case decided on Monday would have “catastrophic consequences” for more than two prisoners.
“The court underestimates or completely ignores the seriousness of the failure of the national system.
“These two cases,” wrote Soto Mayor.
“Frankly, two men that the lawyer in the trial did not provide even at the bare minimum level.
Constitutionally mandated agents may be enforced because their uncontrolled forces prevented them from demonstrating the constitutional rights of their defense counsel.It’s hard to imagine any more extreme dysfunction[n]”… more than the detrimental deprivation of the rights that underlie our adversary system,” she wrote.
Ramirez was convicted in 1989 of fatally stabbing his girlfriend and her 15-year-old daughter. Police also found evidence that he had raped his daughter, and Ramirez confessed to do so, Thomas said in his opinion.
Ramirez argued in his Habeas petition that his lawyer provided ineffective support because he did not carry out a complete “mitigation investigation.” You should have obtained evidence that you can use to claim that you should not be sentenced to death during the sentence.
Jones was convicted in 1994 of fatally beating his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter and sexually assaulting her child.
Jones’ new lawyer, in a federal court petition for Habeas, provides evidence that a lawyer in his trial could show that the child suffered a fatal injury while not caring for him. Claimed that it could not be investigated. The new lawyer also claimed that Jones’ former post-conviction lawyer, who lacked the minimum qualifications of a lawyer appointed in a capital case, was unable to investigate ineffective support from Jones’ lawyer in court. ..
In both cases, a judge in the Federal District Court of Arizona first ruled that the lawyer’s allegations of ineffective support were banned in federal court because they were not properly presented to the state court after being convicted. Did.
However, the district judge in Ramirez’s case told him to supplement the state court’s records “with evidence not presented to the state court to support his case to apologize for procedural defaults.” The ruling on Monday said it had allowed it.
In the case of Jones, a federal judge held a long hearing to examine evidence that his lawyer provided ineffective support for bidding for post-conviction relief in state court.
Arizona has appealed the federal court’s decision and requested that it intervene in the Supreme Court. The state claims that the federal court “has failed to make records in the state court after the conviction.”
Thomas’s decision agreed.
“We are now … the Federal Habeas Court may conduct preliminary hearings or consider evidence beyond state court records based on the ineffective support of lawyers after the state’s conviction. I don’t think we can, “writes Thomas.
He also wrote that “a series of proceedings of the final conviction undermines the finality of being” essential to both the retaliatory and deterrent functions of criminal law. “
“The sixth amendment guarantees criminal defendants the right to the effective support of lawyers in court,” Sotomayor said in a dissenting opinion.
“This court recognized that right as the” foundational principle “that constitutes the very” foundation of the adversary system “of criminal justice,” Sotomayor wrote.
“But today, courts are hampering the federal court’s authority to protect that right,” she wrote.
“By a court decision, many people convicted of violating the Sixth Amendment will face imprisonment or the death penalty without a meaningful opportunity to prove their defense counsel’s rights,” Soto Mayor added. I added.