The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a petition from New Hampshire’s only death row inmate to review his case.
Lawyers for Michael Addison, 35, said the trial judge violated his rights by not allowing jurors to hear evidence he was remorseful and concerned about the Manchester police officer he shot in 2006 — Michael Briggs — after he was taken into custody.
The death penalty has come under fire recently in state courts. Now a recent case out of Pennsylvania highlights a possible role for state executives in hastening the death penalty’s demise.
Remember how last summer the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an opinion ending the death penalty in Connecticut? The court held that the death penalty violates the Connecticut constitution’s cruel and unusual punishment provision — the state analog of the Eighth Amendment — because the practice of killing convicts “fails to comport with contemporary standards of decency” and “is devoid of any legitimate penological justifications.”
Carl Staples moved his family to Shreveport, Louisiana a few years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Forty years later, Staples had to walk past a Confederate flag atop a monument to the Confederacy on the Shreveport courthouse lawn in order to report for jury duty.
When the lawyers asked Mr. Staples whether he could be an impartial juror in a death penalty case—a question routinely asked and answered in the affirmative in courthouses across the country—his response likely stunned the room: