Supreme Court Opens Door To End Death Penalty

ATLANTA (AP) _ A loss in at the U.S. Supreme Court this week is offering a glimmer of hope for death penalty opponents.

Justice Stephen Breyer questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty in dissenting from a 5-4 ruling Monday that approved Oklahoma’s use of an execution drug. He was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Death penalty opponents say the dissent is an invitation to bring a challenge to the law itself to the Supreme Court and gives them guidance on how to craft such a lawsuit.

But it doesn’t change the fact that the Supreme Court has consistently allowed executions to go forward. And the five-justice majority in Monday’s decision believes that states must somehow be able to carry out the death penalty.

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