Jackson Dissents in First Opinion

Sotomayor joins newest justice on death row case
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2022 4:30 PM CST
Jackson Dissents in First Opinion
Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson poses with colleagues for a group portrait last month at the Supreme Court.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

A month into her lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson issued her first opinion on Monday, objecting to her colleagues' decision to not take up an appeal from a death row inmate in Ohio. The fact that the case was declined means that fewer than four justices voted to hear the appeal, the Hill reports, though the breakdown was not released. Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined Jackson's two-page dissent on the appeal by Davel Chinn, who was convicted of committing a murder during a robbery in 1989. Jackson was sworn into office in June but didn't hear her first case until early October.

Jackson argued that an appeals court erred in weighing the damage done to Chinn's case when prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense, applying the wrong legal standard. "Because Chinn’s life is on the line, and given the substantial likelihood that the suppressed records would have changed the court at trial … I would summarily reverse," Jackson wrote, per NBC News. The issue was the mental disability of a prosecution witness who identified Chinn as the killer. (More Ketanji Brown Jackson stories.)

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