PeterD wrote:If he had denied saying it, I would simply not have used that quote. It's not like he's dead and he can't defend himself. I would have used this one instead:
"There is no basis in text, tradition, or even contemporary practice for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction." Herrera v. Collins 506 U.S. 390 (1993)
If we're going to play "quote the decision", then how about a little context, just by way of fairness? Please pay special attention to the use of the word 'constitution' and its variants.
From Justice O'Connor
...the execution of a legally and factually innocent person would be a constitutionally intolerable event. Dispositive to this case, however, is an equally fundamental fact: Petitioner is not innocent, in any sense of the word.
As the Court explains, ante, at 7-8, petitioner is not innocent in the eyes of the law because, in our system of justice, "the trial is the paramount event for determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant." Ante, at 25. Accord, post, at 13 (dissenting opinion). In petitioner'scase, that paramount event occurred 10 years ago. He was tried before a jury of his peers, with the full panoply of protections that our Constitution affords criminal defendants. At the conclusion of that trial, the jury found petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Petitioner therefore does not appear before us as an innocent man on the verge of execution. He is instead a legally guilty one who, refusing to accept the jury's verdict, demands a hearing in which to have his culpability determined once again. Ante, at 8 (opinion of the Court).
Consequently, the issue before us is not whether a State can execute the innocent. It is, as the Court notes, whether a fairly convicted and therefore legally guilty person is constitutionally entitled to yet another judicial proceeding in which to adjudicate his guilt anew, 10 years after conviction, notwithstanding his failure to demonstrate that constitutional error infected his trial.
From Chief Justice Rehnquist
Claims of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence have never been held to state a ground for federal habeas relief absent an independent constitutional violation occurring in the underlying state criminal proceeding. Chief Justice Warren made this clear in Townsend v. Sain, 372 U.S. 293, 317 (1963) (emphasis added):
"Where newly discovered evidence is alleged in a habeas application, evidence which could notreasonably have been presented to the state trier of facts, the federal court must grant an evidentiary hearing. Of course, such evidence must bear upon the constitutionality of the applicant's detention; the existence merely of newly discovered evidence relevant to the guilt of a state prisoner is not a ground for relief on federal habeas corpus."
This rule is grounded in the principle that federal habeas courts sit to ensure that individuals are not imprisoned in violation of the Constitution--not to correct errors of fact. See, e. g., Moore v. Dempsey, 261 U.S. 86, 87-88 (1923) (Holmes, J.) ("[W]hat we have to deal with [on habeas review] is not the petitioners' innocence or guilt but solely the question whether their constitutional rights have been preserved"); Hyde v. Shine, 199 U.S. 62, 84 (1905) ("t is well settled that upon habeas corpus the court will not weigh the evidence") (emphasis in original).
And now let us hear, this time more fully, what Scalia said....
From Justice Scalia:
We granted certiorari on the question whether it violates due process or constitutes cruel and unusual punishment for a State to execute a person who, having been convicted of murder after a full and fair trial, later alleges that newly discovered evidence shows him to be "actually innocent." I would have preferred to decide that question, particularly since, as the Court's discussion shows, it is perfectly clear what the answer is: There is no basis in text, tradition, or even in contemporary practice (if that were enough), for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction. In saying that such a right exists, the dissenters apply nothing but their personal opinions to invalidate the rules of more than two thirds of the States, and a Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure for which this Court itself is responsible. If the system that has been in place for 200 years (and remains widely approved) "shocks" the dissenters' consciences, post, at 1, perhaps they should doubt the calibration of their consciences, or, better still, the usefulness of "conscience shocking" as a legal test.
If you're paying attention Peter, then you'll see that Scalia's opinion agrees completely with that of Chief Justice Earl Warren. Now, if you know as much about The Supremes as you claim to know about our Constitution, then you know that Warren was no friend of conservatives. Yet both he and Scalia invoke the same principle. Hmm...whatever could that mean?
Wow! And I thought the Constitution was all about civil liberities.
Wow! You're wrong! The Constitution is about much more than discovering new rights and elevating new victims whenever you happen to hate the current administration
But when crooks, liars, hypocrites, and war profiteers take to the podium, a decent, civilized society will not only shout them down but will also throw a few pies and eggs their way. I have never heard of anyone ever losing life or limb in such a case. Have you?
Wrong again! I see that textkit's great democrat is unfamiliar with "I will defend to the death your right to say it...". Thanks for a fine illustration of something I suggested in an earlier post: it's the left that would suppress free speech; it's the left that is incapable of even hearing ideas they disagree with.
p.s. (military music playing) For those Americans wishing to support Halliburton's bottom line: Enlist now in the U.S. Army. They can sure use a few extra limbs in Iraq. www.goarmy.com
Let's see....what did American blood accomplish: a monstrous dictator removed, scores of millions freed, and a representative democracy emerging, and all you can do is talk mockingly about Halliburton?
You should be ashamed.