NAME: Tim Shoop, Warden v. Danny Hill
AUTHOR: Per Curiam
JOINING: Roberts, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh
Case CommentaryThis case could be the Poster Child for why I have little (to no) respect for The Rule of Law.
In 1985, the crime was committed.
In 1986, Hill (the defendant) was convicted and sentenced to death (though, the exact year in which he was sentenced is not given).
And now, in 2019 (a full 33 years later), post conviction litigation continues.
This guy should have been dead a long time ago.
And that sort of delay in justice is bad enough.
But that's not what I object to in this particular case. After all, that's hardly The Supreme Court's fault. And at this point is par for the course.
Rather, I object to Justice being Time Barred.
In 2017, The Supreme Court decided Moore: a decision which would (more than likely) preserve Hill's (patently worthless) life.
But now (in 2019), The Supreme Court is saying it's 2017 decision cannot be cited, because it did not exist at the time of the relevant appeal (filed back in 2010).
We either seek Justice or we do not.
And if Justice improves (which I am willing to assume for the sake of argument is the point of all Supreme Court's decisions), any such improvement should be applied to any and all pending cases.
The counter argument is that decisions should be final and we can't go on second guessing the legal system forever. But the judgement in this case isn't final. The final decision is still pending. And as such, this line of reasoning (not brought up by The Supreme Court in this case) holds no water.
In short, it's a travesty of Justice.
Oh, it's application of the law to be sure... and likely, the correct application. After all, the decision is unanimous with no dissenting opinion. But without Justice, any (absolutely any) application of the law is mere Whim & Whimsy.
In short, this decision sucks.
Why do I not respect The Rule of Law?
The answer is simple: I've read opinion after opinion that puts Pragmatic Paper Pushing and Blind Rules Lawyering ahead of Justice.
It's called The Justice System. Nothing is supposed to come ahead of Justice. Nothing.
In other news, Mr Hill might just be a mental midget, a fool, a bit of a dope, not dealing with a full deck, missing a few marbles, and all the rest.
Sucks for him.
But it's not a reason (in my humble opinion) for him to get special treatment.
If he's too stupid to know what he was doing (and nobody is arguing that he didn't do it or that what he did ain't altogether gruesome and awful), then he's probably too stupid to know he's about to be executed.
Fry the F'er!
Thirty years later, it hardly matters.
But if anyone deserves to die, it is Mr Hill.
When did being stupid become a Get Out of Jail Free Card?