Opinions Relating to Orders - 2019

Mitchell v. United States

The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to JUSTICE KAGAN and by her referred to the Court is denied. Statement of JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR respecting the denial of the application for stay. The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 (FDPA) requires that the Federal Government implement death sentences “in the manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence is imposed.” 18 U. S. C. §3596(a). Considerable uncertainty exists about the scope of this provision. In the most detailed analysis provided by a lower court to date, three judges offered three different views on how to define the “manner” of implementing a death sentence and where to locate the relevant “law of the State.” See In re Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Execution Protocol Cases, 955 F. 3d 106, 108 (CADC 2020) (per curiam) (“Each member of the panel takes a different view of what the FDPA requires”). Thus far, this Court has declined to provide definitive guidance on these important questions. See Barr v. Roane, 589 U. S. _ (2019) (application for stay or vacatur denied)