Federal Appeals Panel Overturns Anti-Death Penalty Ruling in California
By Erik Eckholm
The New York Times
Nov. 12, 2015
Many legal experts said the ruling was expected because of the strong procedural challenges that California prosecutors had raised, which included an argument that the inmate had failed, as required, to exhaust all his state court options.
But through further state appeals of this case or others like it, some said, the underlying argument about systemic dysfunction could remain a potent one, eventually reaching the Supreme Court in an era of growing questions about capital punishment.
“Today’s result is no surprise, but the arguments have merit,” said Eric M. Freedman, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University and a death penalty opponent. Different kinds of motions in state court could keep the issue alive and even open a more certain pathway back into the federal courts, he said, characterizing the circuit court ruling as a “speed bump.”
A version of this article appears in print on November 13, 2015, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Appeals Panel Rejects Ruling That Could Have Voided California Death Sentences.