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SCOTUS Rejects Death Row Case, Breyer Doesn’t Join Dissent

Nov. 13, 2017, 3:15 PM

A divided U.S. Supreme Court Nov. 13 declined to hear an Alabama death penalty case and, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in dissent, “cleared the way” for a convicted murderer’s execution.

The court rejected Matthew Reeves’s petition that argued his lawyer was ineffective, drawing a dissent from Sotomayor that was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Not joining them, most notably, was Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who has in recent years questioned the constitutionality of capital punishment and did so as recently as last week in another case.

Reeves wanted the high court to clarify the standard ...