Yesterday, without comment, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition filed by Georgia Death Row inmate Jamie Ryan Weis.
This is shocking.
This is very bad news. We’ve written about the Weis case before, including links to the amicus brief filed by a stellar list of Georgia legal scholars, fighting for justice in the indigent defense crisis facing Georgia (and the country) today – and the spotlight that coverage by the New York Times’ Adam Liptak was providing.
A Missed Opportunity or a Dodge?
Bottom line, the Weis petition offered the United States Supreme Court an opportunity to address the basic problem facing states today: where is justice when there is no money in the coffers to pay for the effective assistance of counsel that is constitutionally required – particularly in a death penalty case?
For Jamie Weis, not only was his constitutional right to a competent defense denied him, but also his constitutional right to a speedy trial — all because Georgia didn’t have the money to pay for what was legally mandated. Legally mandated by the constitutional precedent established by the United States Supreme Court.
Georgia’s Mr. Weis, Death Row inmates, and defendants facing the possibility of Capital Punishment across the country, are having rights denied them because of budgets without cash flow. We can only wonder why the High Court has denied them even an explanation for why the Weis Petition was not considered worthy of review.