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Supreme Court refuses stay of execution in Sotomayor's first vote as associate justice

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday refused to stay the execution [order, DOC] of death row inmate Jason Getsy. The Court also declined Getsy's petition for review. This was the first decision for newly sworn in Justice Sonia Sotomayor [JURIST news archive], who would have stayed the execution, along with Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruther Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. Getsy was executed Tuesday morning at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville, Ohio. He was sentenced to death for the 1995 murder of Ann Sarafino. The Ohio Parole Board had recommended that Governor Ted Strickland [official website] commute Getsy's sentence to life in prison, but Strickland refused [press release]. Also Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit refused to reconsider [order, PDF] Getsy's case en banc.

Also Monday, the Court ordered [text, PDF; JURIST report] a federal court in Georgia to review the case of death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis [defense website]. Davis had filed an original writ of habeas corpus [cert. petition, PDF] directly in the Supreme Court. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Antonin Scalia filed a dissenting opinion [text, PDF], joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Sonia Sotomayor took no part in the Court's decision. It is unclear how the remaining justices voted. Davis's case was originally scheduled for consideration at the end of last year's Supreme Court term, but the Court took no action at that time. It is fairly unusual for the Court to issue such a ruling in the summer or for the Court to grant an original writ of habeas corpus.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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