Sotomayor sees inexcusable lawyering as a "strategic choice"

I've been saying since the start that Sotomayor is going to be a terrible disappointment, and that we've squandered the chance to bring on a powerful voice for the disenfranchised.

So right here, in the wake of a Coakley loss, is the proof of concept:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of a mentally impaired Alabama man who killed his former lover despite the fact that his lawyer, ( who lacked criminal law experience) failed to tell jurors that he had an IQ of less than 70 and had been classified as mentally retarded.

''Even if it is debatable, it is not unreasonable to conclude that ... counsel made a strategic decision not inquire further into the information contained in the report about Wood's mental deficiencies and not present to the jury such information,'' Justice Sonia Sotomayor said."

Really? Shame on you.


LP Sutton said...

I agree that Sotomayor was an incredibly disappointing choice.

Btw, loved your book.

Pamela J. Lakatos said...

When her name came up for nomination, I went and read as many criminal opinions of hers that I could find. It was not comforting.

I had hoped she would surprise me and actually turn out to be more concerned about justice than fitting into a predominately privileged "real world" removed judiciary.

I am dismayed by what I have observed since the beginning of the Obama administration. I had hoped that he would really care about making an effort to reform our corrupt criminal justice system.

Just goes to show you that law professors should never be expected to have a real grasp on real world politics.

Am really trying to fight the creeping tide of cynicism that seems to be slowly rising in my world.

James said...

I knew Sotomayor was nothing but a politician from the start. To have someone of her calibre making life and death decisions shivers me timbers.
Great book!

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Pedantic Contrarian said...

This helps explain such an absurd point of view to me...

John Kerr said...

I sent Obama my broken-heart, closed-wallet letter the day her appointment was announced.

Anonymous said...

She was picked for being a woman and a hispanic, a lower circuit is wise
let me ask you aren't hispanics half-white,half south american native, and maybe partially black?

Using race is not a great qualifier, while she does have a lot of experience and does give the right opinions, many other judges do too,

I know its a late post but obama keeps disappointing. I know he has a charisma and does open up and is not shy from criticism and debate and is not too arrogant at times so folks will still open up but still its disheartening.