If you have "no place to go," come here!

Bush court denies appeal of life sentence because of a judge's "inexplicable" typo

And guess who's in the majority? Times:

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today that an Ohio prisoner’s challenge of his murder conviction must be thrown out because he missed a filing deadline by a few days — not through his or his lawyer’s fault, but because a federal judge made a mistake.

The defendant had 30 days to file a notice of appeal of the denial, but failed to do so.

On Dec. 12, 2003, Mr. Bowles moved to reopen the period under which he could file his notice of appeal, a procedure that is allowed under certain conditions and provides for an extra 14 days. Inexplicably, as the Supreme Court majority noted today, the district judge allowed 17 days, not 14.

Majority decision by, of course, Thomas.

Joining Justice Thomas were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The majority held that a federal appeals court was correct in deciding that it could not hear an appeal of the prisoner, Keith Bowles, even though a federal judge had “inexplicably” made an error that derailed his case.

So now I can't even rely on a decision from a Federal judge? "Inexplicable" errors are OK, and I have no appeal or redress?

And speaking of "inexplicable," sure, after Bush v. Gore I know I can't rely on the courts for justice, but Jeebus, that was just a Presidential election.

This is serious!

NOTE Tell me again why I should regard the Bush court as legitimate?

No votes yet


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Uh, aren't the gang of five all "devout" Catholics? And isn't that religion the largest minority government on the face of the planet? And wasn't that religion's oppression of the voiceless majority, women, a-okay with American liberal men until that totalitarianism spread to targets liberal men did care about and identify with?

Talk about your tiny violins!

mattd's picture
Submitted by mattd on

The URL is empty in the link.

I mostly want to know if the guy filed his appeal within the statutory 14-day window or not. If he did, then the judge's typo would make absolutely no difference.

If he filed after 14 days but within 17, that's the kind of technical error that the Supremes love to use to throw out cases, and have for long before the Bush court, sadly enough. It was in the 1990s, wasn't it, when they ruled that Texas could execute two separate people for the same murder, even though the state argued in both trials that only one of them pulled the trigger, and in each trial they argued it was the person they were trying at that moment? Wasn't it Scalia who wrote that they both got "fair" trials, so the fact that the state's theory could not possibly be true in both cases (and the state knew it, even if the jury didn't) was just a sidenote on the way to executing them?


Submitted by lambert on

The thing that bugs me is the "inexplicable" part.

The judge "inexplicably" issued his order in the dialect of an obscure, Amazonian tribe, and by the time it was translated...

The judge "inexplicably" ordered that all underwear would be worn on the outside...

If we were living in a Constitutional system, I'd be more understanding of the technical argument. But we aren't. We're living in a country that's being ruled by a crime family, so you have to assume that the rules are there to be broken and exploited.

Autre temps, autre merde, as they say....

P.S. The link is fixed. Thanks.

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.