I’m thrilled for Troy Davis and his family that the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that new evidence of innocence merits a hearing in a federal court. My lawyer friend, Denny LeBoeuf, tells me we haven’t had such a decision from the Supreme Court in direct response to a plea from a district court in 50 years. It had to be that evidence of innocence was so palpable and Troy’s execution so imminent, that six members of the court threw regular procedural rules out the window.
But not all. There were two dissents, and one of them came from Justice Antonin Scalia. Here’s what he said.
“This court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”
If you find that chilling, that means you get it.