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Alito parts with conservatives on execution

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyID=2006-02-02T140832Z_01_N0244865_RTRUKOC_0_US-EXECUTION-MISSOURI-COURT.xml Alito parts
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2006
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      http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyID=2006-02-02T140832Z_01_N0244865_RTRUKOC_0_US-EXECUTION-MISSOURI-COURT.xml

      Alito parts with conservatives on execution
      Thu Feb 2, 2006 9:08 AM ET166

      By James Vicini

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. Supreme Court Justice
      Samuel Alito disagreed with the court's conservatives
      and refused to allow Missouri to execute a man
      convicted of kidnapping and killing a Kansas City
      teenager 17 years ago.

      Alito sided with the majority in a 6-3 vote that
      rejected a last minute request to allow Missouri to
      carry out the execution of Michael Taylor, 39, by
      lethal injection at midnight, a court spokesman said
      on Thursday.

      Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia
      and Clarence Thomas voted to let the execution
      proceed.

      The court's action was contained in a two-sentence
      order. The state's request was presented to Alito, who
      has responsibility for appeals from the U.S. appeals
      court based in Missouri, and he referred the request
      to the full court.

      Earlier on Wednesday, the court had issued orders that
      would have allowed the execution to proceed.

      Taylor pleaded guilty, along with an accomplice, to
      kidnapping, raping and murdering 15-year-old Ann
      Harrison in 1989. The men abducted the girl as she
      waited for a school bus in front of her home.

      He has challenged his death sentence on the grounds
      that the three-drug cocktail of lethal chemicals used
      in executions carry the risk of undue suffering,
      violating the U.S. Constitution's protection against
      cruel and unusual punishment.

      Alito was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice on
      Tuesday, becoming the second conservative, after Chief
      Justice John Roberts, put on the court by President
      George W. Bush.

      Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate
      conservative who had been the swing vote in a series
      of 5-4 decisions on social issues.

      Alito has been expected to align himself with the
      court's conservative bloc, which could affect the
      outcome of votes on key social issues.

      The way a justice votes on a stay request does not
      necessarily signal how the justice will rule on the
      merits of a death penalty case. The court earlier this
      week granted a similar stay of execution to another
      death row inmate from Florida.

      Last month, the court said it would use the case of a
      Florida death-row inmate to decide whether last-minute
      challenges can be brought under the federal civil
      rights law to the drugs used in lethal injection.

      The court appears to be holding cases that raise the
      same issue until it hears arguments and rules on the
      issue, which is expected by the end of June.
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