Read the Supreme Court’s Decision Allowing an Alabama Execution to Proceed - The World News

Read the Supreme Court’s Decision Allowing an Alabama Execution to Proceed

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SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting

likelihood of success on the merits of his claim challenging Alabama’s undeterred implementation of its heavily redacted, 5-month-old protocol. The equities here, as in nearly all capital cases where the prisoner has shown a reasonable probability of success on the merits, favor Smith. See Bucklew, 587 U. S., at (SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting). While I would grant the petition for a writ of certiorari and summarily reverse the Eleventh Circuit’s order affirming the denial of Smith’s preliminary-injunction motion, at a minimum, I would grant Smith’s request for a stay of execution.




Having failed to kill Smith on its first attempt, Alabama has selected him as its “guinea pig” to test a method of execution never attempted before. Barber, 600 U. S., at The world is watching.2 This Court yet again permits Alabama to “experiment . . . with a human life,” while depriving Smith of “meaningful discovery” on meritorious constitutional claims. Id., at _______. This time around, Alabama has adopted a new protocol concerning a never-before-used method of execution. Consistent with Alabama’s “familiar veil of secrecy over its capital punishment procedures,” it has released only a “heavily redacted” version of that protocol. 2024 WL 116303, *3. Smith should be allowed to complete discovery and litigate the merits of his claims challenging this new protocol in the ordinary course. That information is important not only to Smith, who has an extra reason to fear the gurney, but to anyone the State seeks

2 See, e.g., US: Alarm Over Imminent Execution in Alabama, United Nations (Jan. 16, 2024), 2024/01/us-alarm-over-imminent-execution-alabama; United States: UN Experts Alarmed at Prospect of First-Ever Untested Execution by Nitrogen Hypoxia in Alabama, United Nations (Jan. 3, 2024),


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