TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on May 8, 2014

Two former death row inmates could become the poster children for a campaign by Republican activists to unseat three state Supreme Court justices, News Channel 5 reports. As a follow-up story to Tuesday's news that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's office has prepared a campaign strategy against the three, the TV station is reporting that the plan highlights the cases of Arthur Copeland and Leonard Edward Smith to suggest the justices are soft on crime. In the Smith case, Ramsey questions how the court could "let this double murderer off death row." He also maintains that some of the "heinous crimes that have been overturned" have been for " frivolous reasons." Republican lawyer Lew Conner, after looking the cases, calls the attacks "misleading." He provides insight into the cases as well as the general observation that in 21 of the death penalty cases that have come before the Supreme Court on direct appeal since 2006, the court has upheld the death penalty in 18 of them. "How can that be soft on crime?" Conner asks.