Meaning of Empathy: Sotomayor Refused to Consider Appeal of Man Based on Technicality — Man Later Found Innocent Based on DNA

200px-Sonia_SotomayorCivil libertarians have been complaining that many liberals are ignoring that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been viewed as hostile to core liberal values and has a fairly conservative voting record in many areas, including free speech, student rights, and criminal procedure. For a review of her cases, click here. Another case has come to light that shows little of the empathy cited by the White House. While Vice President Joe Biden has emphasized the Sotomayor “watches the back of police” in cases (which is supported in some of her more controversial rulings), she has shown little empathy for those challenging police or convictions. The case of Jeffrey Deskovic is being cited as one such case.

Sotomayor was one of the judges who dismissed Deskovic’s 2000 appeal to United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit with a cursory two-page decision. The panel based its decision on the fact that the filing was made four days late due to confusion between the lawyer and the clerk.

Deskovic was convicted at 16 of killing a high school classmate and filed a habeas corpus petition to challenge his conviction. He was later proven innocent by DNA evidence.

His lawyer insisted that he was misinformed about the due date by the clerk’s office and that his client should not suffer for the miscommunication. However, Sotomayor and another judge refused to consider the merits based on the technical filing problem.

He would spend six more years behind bars until finally proven innocent (and the real killer arrested).

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 requires that habeas corpus petitions must be submitted no more than a year after a conviction becomes final or, as the courts later determined, no more than a year from the act’s implementation. This meant that he had until April 24, 1997 to file his habeas but his papers were filed four days late. Sotomayor and Judge Rosemary S. Pooler ruled that, even if the lawyer was told by the clerk that he had the later due date, it was still a violation and barred the appeal.

There is an interesting disconnect in the position of many liberal organizations, which have abandoned prior views to support this nominee without a hint of concern. As noted earlier, such rulings would normally cause liberals considerable concern and prompt intense review if this were a Republican nominee. Instead, there is virtually no discussion of such rulings by most liberals despite objections from civil libertarians that the left will lose ground on the Court if Sotomayor votes as she did on the Second Circuit.

For the full story, click here.

172 thoughts on “Meaning of Empathy: Sotomayor Refused to Consider Appeal of Man Based on Technicality — Man Later Found Innocent Based on DNA”

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  2. That website guy has only gotten more hysterical as the time passes. Vince, Mike A., FFLEO, Buddha, Mespo and AY have made mincemeat of her/him. I just bait because I can see I’ve gotten to him.

    This is really one of the few times he’s even responded to me and boy did he respond. I like Mike A’s take on the legitimacy of his solicitations of support. Unfortunately and necessarily we have added to his/her site hits by seeing what’s up there.
    Unfortunately, as Gertrude Stein once said in another context:
    “There is no there….there.”

  3. “JT: What is your opinion of the Obama birth certificate issue?”



    Shouldn’t that question have preceded your inconsiderate moments already expressed ?

  4. LEO, as I said in my first post in this thread, “This is posted for all interested readers, because of all the stuff that has been posted here on the birth issue.” It was not posted for bvm.

  5. I wrote up thread that I wondered why BVM was allowed to post ‘its’ nonsense. Then I remembered a comment Professor Turley made on Maddow’s program; we want people like BVM to speak out so that they show up on the radar screen.

    Thanks to those regulars who have the patience to counter BVM’s nonsensicalness. I must admit that the regulars’ replies have furnished me information about which I would have otherwise not known. Ergo, I guess there is value associated outside of BVM’s posts, although his illogical protestations from his bigoted soapbox remind me of a “fencepost tortoise”.

    “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he definitely doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just have to wonder what kind of idiot put him up there in the first place.”

    A neat graphic is located here of a fencepost tortoise along with the full tale:

  6. BVM,

    So. Do you still beat your wife?

    I propose you answer that question before anyone here answers yours about war crimes.

    It’s called a “frame” for a reason, nitwit.

  7. BVM, once you establish the legitimacy of your web site, I’ll be happy to share my views. I wish to know about its “birth certificate” before I continue any exchange.

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