"The death penalty is touchy enough without having to worry about how it relates to the mentally ill. This really seems like one of those things that should be decided on a case by case basis by the people involved, not by us."
The opinion further stated that the court was "intimidated" by the extreme pressure brought on by its eminent position, arguing that it would have been much easier for the justices to deliver a firm, definitive ruling had they not been "hyper-aware" that constitutional scholars, trial lawyers, and lower-court judges would study and discuss their decision for generations to come....
The oral arguments by opposing attorneys Keith S. Hampton and Gena B. Bunn, though impressive, reportedly only made matters worse.
"Both attorneys were super smart and well prepared and made a lot of really good points," Justice Samuel Alito said. "When Mr. Hampton was presenting his case, I was thinking, 'Yeah, this is totally right,' and I was prepared to side with him. But then Ms. Bunn got up and sounded just as convincing, but argued the exact opposite point. It's like, who do you believe?"...
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the lone dissenting opinion, in which she stated that she knew the correct decision was either yes or no, but couldn't say which one it should be.
May 28, 2007
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: