The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday within the case of John Montenegro Cruz, a man sentenced to death for the 2003 deadly capturing of Patrick Hardesty, a Tucson police officer.
Cruz, who was trying to evade arrest, shot the officer 5 occasions at shut vary.
He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2005. Cruz’s attorneys argued he was not in a position to inform the jury that he wouldn’t be eligible for parole if given a life sentence, which he believes might have persuaded them from issuing a death sentence.
During arguments that lasted simply over an hour, the state requested the Court to uphold the death penalty for Cruz, arguing the ruling was according to different Arizona instances addressing the identical challenge.
“Identifying and supporting the true victims of crime is essential to the administration of justice,” mentioned Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “In this case, a police officer was murdered, and his family and community should not have to endure endless attempts by the perpetrator to avoid responsibility for his heinous crime.”
The lawyer basic’s office mentioned Chief Deputy Joseph Kanefield argued the case in entrance of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The 1994 Supreme Court Case Simmons v. South Carolina established that defendants whose dangerousness known as into question have a proper to inform the jury that they’d by no means be launched on parole. In a subsequent case in 2016, Lynch v. Arizona, the Supreme Court immediately advised Arizona they need to honor the best offered by Simmons.
Elizabeth Bentley, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, represented the Arizona Capital Representation Project, which submitted an amicus transient in help of Cruz.
“We argued that the state of Arizona and Arizona courts have created all of these procedural hurdles to prevent individuals like Cruz from being able to raise his due process challenge,” Bentley mentioned.
That transient was referenced by Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday.
Lourdes M. Rosado is president and basic counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF, which additionally filed an amicus transient within the case. She mentioned the Supreme Court will resolve “whether Arizona can use a procedural shortcut to execute a man after a trial that everyone now admits was unconstitutional at the time.”
“LatinoJustice was proud to join with The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) in an amicus brief that explain the long history of racial bias in the death penalty,” Rosado mentioned, “and how constitutional protections are all the more crucial for those who have long been discriminated by the criminal legal system.”
The case now awaits a ruling from the court docket.
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