Is “Culture Of Death” Dying At Supreme Court?


That provocative question is asked by Ohio State University law Prof. Douglas Berman, who has complained about the Supreme Court’s tendency to spend lots of its time on death penalty cases. Although more than five dozen such cases were pending when the court decided yesterday which cases to add to its 2009-2010 docket, no capital punishment case was among the new entries.

Berman says the Supreme Court term that starts next seek is “shaping up to be free of any truly significant capital punishment cases.” It’s too early to say that the high court is dropping the suject, but Berman says it’s possible that the justices “are coming to see that regular and repeated review of capital cases on the merits may do significantly more harm than good.”

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