Blog of Rights

Death By Missed Deadline

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:29am

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Cory Maples, a man facing death in Alabama because his lawyers were late filing the appeal of his conviction in state court. This excellent New York Times editorial describes how the sad emphasis on form over substance in this case should leave no doubt that the death penalty must be abolished.

The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, describing the many deficiencies plaguing the Alabama death penalty system. It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide whether Maples should be executed without any federal court review because of a missed filing deadline that was not his fault.

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