Alito's First Opinion

Monday, May 01, 2006

Big bad Sam Alito wrote his first opinion that was announced today for a Supreme Court that's supposedly going to "turn back the clock" on civil rights and blah bla-blah bla-blah. Nothing juicy here but being that it's Alito's first written opinion it's worth a mention:

By a 9-0 vote, justices said a South Carolina defendant's constitutional rights were violated by a rule that barred him from introducing testimony blaming another man because the prosecution had introduced forensic evidence that appeared to support a guilty verdict.

Alito wrote that the South Carolina Supreme Court was wrong because it looked only at the strength of the prosecution's evidence and did not consider information that defendant Bobby Lee Holmes had gathered in his defense, including that he was framed by police.

A trial judge excluded evidence that Holmes wanted to present that implicated another man in the 1989 beating, rape and robbery of Mary Stewart, 86, who later died of her injuries.

The prosecution's evidence included Holmes' palm print found on the door of the victim's house, fibers from his sweatshirt discovered on Stewart's sheets and DNA tests that implicated him.

Alito said "the true strength of the prosecution's proof cannot be assessed without considering challenges to the reliability of the prosecution's evidence."
You'd think with DNA evidence the conservatives would have been satisfied enough to throw away the key. After all, Clarence Thomas is the "cruelest justice" and Scalia is Scalia, but this just goes to show how bogus critics of the conservative justices are.