The Supreme Court will consider a petition from Alabama on Tuesday featuring the death penalty, discrimination, and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and controversial Senate candidate Roy Moore.
At Tuesday’s conference, the justices will consider whether to hear Floyd v. Alabama, a case questioning if the Alabama Supreme Court failed to follow the high court’s precedent prohibiting race- and gender-based discrimination in jury selection.
Christopher Floyd was convicted in 2005 of killing Waylon Crawford during a robbery in 1992. Crawford’s killing went unsolved for more than 12 years, following a lack of witnesses and physical evidence found at the crime scene, as Floyd’s attorneys note in their petition to the high court. After the jury returned an 11-1 verdict against Floyd in 2005, a judge sentenced Floyd to death in 2006.
Floyd challenged the jury’s decision on the basis that the prosecutor, who Floyd says has “a documented history of racial discrimination in jury selection,” removed 10 of 11 African-American prospective jurors and 12 of 18 prospective female jurors. Floyd is white and male.
Floyd’s case then bounced back and forth in Alabama courts before arriving at the Supreme Court, where the justices granted Floyd’s case in 2016, vacated his conviction, and sent the case back to the Alabama Supreme Court in light of the high court’s precedent. The Alabama Supreme Court, then led by Moore, denied Floyd’s claims again and backed Floyd’s conviction.
Floyd’s petition of the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision arrives back at the Supreme Court as Moore’s record in Alabama is facing heightened scrutiny. Moore is facing multiple accusations of sexual impropriety involving underage girls over the course of several decades starting when Moore was in his 30s. Moore is now 70 years old and the GOP nominee for Alabama’s Senate seat in a special election scheduled for Dec. 12.
While Moore’s sexual history is litigated in the court of public opinion, his judicial record soon could face review from the Supreme Court. Several prominent Republicans have pulled their support for Moore in the wake of increasing sexual assault allegations, but Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has cited Moore’s prospective influence over the Supreme Court in his capacity as a senator voting to fill future vacancies as a key reason for her decision to maintain her support for Moore.
H/T: Washington Examiner