Right now, there is a petition before the Supreme Court of the United States coming out of the State of Arizona. If SCOTUS agrees to hear this case, then it’s a big deal. It may be the 21st Century’s Furman v. Georgia.
Hidalgo v Arizona Petition Before SCOTUS
The case is Hidalgo v. Arizona. Follow it here.
Why is it a big deal? Key to the petition is the issue of "aggravating factors" and how they work. Each state has its own list. (See Terry’s list of state aggravating factors and mitigating circumstances here.)
In Arizona, they’ve added so many factors to the list that anyone convicted of murder can face death in that state. There’s also a budget argument, some Arizona counties are more likely to seek death because they can afford it.
Tribe’s Op-Ed Argues Hidalgo to Strike Down the Death Penalty
Lots of illustrious folk are voicing their concerns over capital punishment and their interest in the High Court rendering its opinion in Hidalgo. But if you just want to read one, check out Laurence Tribe’s op-ed in the Washington Post, "The Supreme Court Should Strike Down the Death Penalty."
Amicus Briefs Filed in Hidalgo
Also check out the amicus briefs:
- Brief filed by Amnesty International
- Brief filed by Fair Punishment Project
- Brief filed by The Promise of Justice Initiative
- Brief filed by Former and Current Arizona Judges, Prosecutors, Defenders, Legislators and Others.