Gorsuch Casts First Major Tie-Breaking Vote Allowing Arkansas Executions To Proceed

Tyler Durden's picture

In what will undoubtedly be a memorable first major tie-breaking vote as a Supreme Court Judge, Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote last night to allow Arkansas to begin executing a group of 8 death-row inmates.  The decision came after attorneys for the State of Arkansas sought an expedited process to allow for the executions to proceed before their lethal-injection drugs expire at the end of April.  Per Bloomberg:

In a series of orders Thursday night, the high court cleared the state to execute Ledell Lee, one of eight convicted murderers that Arkansas has been trying to put to death before one of its lethal-injection drugs expires at the end of the month. Associated Press later reported the execution had been carried out.


“Apparently the reason the state decided to proceed with these eight executions is that the ‘use by’ date of the state’s execution drug is about to expire," Breyer wrote. "That factor, when considered as a determining factor separating those who live from those who die, is close to random."


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan also voted to block the executions.

Shortly after the 5-4 decision, the Associated Press confirmed that the execution of Ledell Lee had been carried out and he was pronounced dead at 11:56pm.  The execution was the state's first in 12 years.

Lee was the first person in a group of what had been eight men Arkansas originally planned to execute in 11 days, the most of any state in as short a period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.



For his part, Lee was convicted of brutally beating a woman to death in 1993 with a tire iron according to Reuters...

Lee was convicted and sentenced to death for beating Debra Reese to death with a tire iron in 1993. Reese's relatives were at the Cummins Unit and told media Lee deserved to die for a crime that ripped their lives apart.


Lawyers for Lee, who had spent more than 20 years on death row, had filed numerous motions in various courts ahead of the lethal injection that had put the process on hold.

...seemed like a swell guy.

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Latina Lover's picture

Welcome to the new Boss, same as the old Boss.

FrozenGoodz's picture

Outside of Arkansas no one cares ... tax reform? 


Tick tock

The Juggernaut's picture

When does “Life” in the phrase of “Life Liberty and the Pursuits…” come into play?



Especially during the Prison Industrial Complex; there are more innocent people in jail than ever.  USA used to be a country of Freedom... not anymore.  Unless the People take it back.



goldandsilverguy's picture

Well, "Life" comes into play when we stop murdering innocent babies by abortion, moron.  In the meantime, taking a few prisoners off of death row and ending the charade of endless appeals seems like a good thing.

Can't wait for RBG to croak.  Then we can have a bullet-proof 6 - 3 majority.

greenskeeper carl's picture

Which side of that equation do you place Roberts? You've got to be kidding.

goldandsilverguy's picture

Nope, not kidding.  I give Roberts a pass on his vote to extend Obamacare.  Everybody has a bad day now and then.  

xavi1951's picture

Jugger head -

Where did you get your facts about more innocent people in prison?  That is a very old 'liberal' claim with NO facts to prove it.

Liberalism is a mental disease!

Stuck on Zero's picture

Just how does one vote in nine equal votes become the "deciding vote?"


edotabin's picture

Even though the court is not supposed to be political <cough, cough, hack> it isn't very hard to see how the judges will vote in many cases. Beng the newest, he is now the "deciding" vote. Just more small-minded, non-political <cough, wheeze, hack> horse excrement used to write news stories and stir people up. Everything has got to be "pumped" and an angle found or created if it doesn't exist. 

I Feel a little Qeasy's picture

He must be a 'good American' though, 'cos the first thing, the most important thing to him is to bring death to someone. That's all you people are now, violence personified.

ACP's picture

Funny thing is, it wouldn't have mattered if the court still only had 8 justices because they simply reaffirmed the state supreme court decision.

So there really was no deciding vote.

techpriest's picture

Last I checked the more accurate phrase would be "nonviolent offenders." In other words, folks who had a drug problem, and were given prison rape as a solution.

As far as "innocence" goes, if there's one area where this would be the case, it would be men who lose their head and do something stupid during divorce proceedings, like trying to win his wife back when she is in full lawyer mode and has a restraining order. In those cases the man is "guilty" but under dubious terms. Same with VAWA and lawyers encouraging women to make accusations of abuse when there was none, or where she started it. Cops who take DV calls have plenty of stories.

However, these cases are not what the Left will be talking about - its narrative building that criminals are victims, how dare we enforce the law on anything but "hate speech," etc. etc.

edotabin's picture

Just another subversive tactic to weaken and damage society.

BarkingCat's picture

Anyone put in jail for violating an unconstitutional law is innocent.

Furthermore, anyone put in jail for violating any law that has no victim is also innocent.


wren's picture

Arkansas prisons are at around 98% capacity. Most criminals there are never caught. Those that are will probably be released. Those that go to trial will probably end up having a deal cut giving them probation. Those that are convicted and sentenced will probably serve pennies on the dollar.

Google AR CourtConnect then search for Patrick Jason Woodall. Began criminal career in 2009. Charged over and over with B&E's as well as other crimes. Between 2009 and 2015 he was sentenced to 109 years, 2 months, 20 days, yet by spring 2015 he was out and broke into 5 more homes. Arkansas prefers their criminals on the streets.

There is no law in Arkansas, it's like the wild west. If you ever go there, be sure to insure everything you own. And if you rent a car, pay a little extra for the auto theft insurance. Not their standard insurance, but auto theft. Trust me, there is a possibility you may need it.

techpriest's picture

This is why private prisons sprung up, originally. People didn't want to review the laws and stop booking guys on minor drug charges, and they didn't want to pay the taxes to build more state-run prisons.

However, like all things vampire squid, once the industry is built, it lobbies for more and more.

Yog Soggoth's picture

The States should have the right to run the prisons as they see fit. If it were not for these appeals to higher court these scum would have been eliminated years ago. That would have make a little more room and saved some money.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

A bulletproof manority won't cut it. We need a PILLOW-proof majority.

ejmoosa's picture

End the war on drugs and the PIC will be downsized.

But to take another's life must have consequences.  We cannot apologize for that.

Newbie lurker's picture

Bingo. Succinct and very true.

SokPOTUS's picture

Meh. The cowardly little bitch beat her 36 times with a tire iron then strangled her just to be sure.

That's gotta be at least a civil rights violation right there....


Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

When does “Life” in the phrase of “Life Liberty and the Pursuit…” come into play?

It goes away when a Ledell Lee takes a tire iron to your skull.

chubakka's picture

if it  had been  your mother beaten with the tire iron you'd feel differently.  

MAAAHM's picture

We can't even get tax reform here in Arkansas..

SoDamnMad's picture

I don't want to hear one racist comment her (I lie). There are 4 African- Americansand 4 declaring themselves white on death row ready to be executed.  Sounds fair to me. (Actully not considering the ratio of the prison population.)

I am very disappointed Kevin Cooper was not selected to be in the starting line-up.

Tom Terrific's picture

No, actually worse that the old boss

MrButtoMcFarty's picture

They should have executed him with a tire iron beating.

Bill of Rights's picture

Blowtorch and a pair of Pliers works as well.

SmackDaddy's picture

"Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan also voted to block the executions."

But please let these bitches join him in his cell unsupervised for his last meal.....

SoDamnMad's picture

Why isn't Ruthy in New Zealand like she promised?

E.F. Mutton's picture

He wasn't executed

He was Biologically Re-Accommodated

tmosley's picture

Nah, cruel and unusual. As is having him spend 26 fucking years on death row. What they should have done is after he was sentanced to execution, march him right over into the next room where there is a gallows, and just execute him immediately. No need to spend any more money on the scumbag.


effendi's picture

Cannot agree, there should be a review of all death sentences and any that are not 100% certainty of clear cut guilt and of a high level of heinous nature should be commuted (probably a life sentence for the majority, a few will be found innocent and relesed). Those that are however 100% proven scum should be executed. Shouldn't take more than 6 months from start of review to either commutation or execution and would mean a few thousand on death row will get what is coming to them

HalinCA's picture

Actually, no.  It's too late for that.  

Have to hang some innocents now so we ALL get the message that justicw will be SWIFT and MERCILESS.  

May not too accurate, but oh well.  

Remember, we all end up DEAD at the end of the ride anyway.

Fisherman Blue's picture

After water boarding for 12 hours straight.

spastic_colon's picture

aaaay aaay...bada bing!

Stroke's picture

"Ol Lee got a free taxpayer ride since '93

E.F. Mutton's picture

Just waiting for the MSM to throw out the first race card on Gorsuch.  You know it's coming.

Dr. Engali's picture

I petition we send all bankers to Arkansas. 

pine_marten's picture

Hard to be enthusiastic about the death penalty. 

sleigher's picture

I like the death penalty right up until the point new DNA evidence is exposed and turns out some prisoner is innocent.

My point being, if we cannot guarantee 100% that no innocent people will be put to death because some asshole D.A. in bum fuck Texas has some grudge or wants to cover something up or whatever the deal may be, we shouldn't be killing people.

The guy in this case should have been taken out back and beaten with a tire iron the moment the jury handed down a guilty verdict.  But we can't say that for every case.

SmackDaddy's picture

yeah, i'd prefer a good old fashioned lynching.  These "people" always have a long list of offenses worthy of a noose before they are finally put on death row...

TheLastTrump's picture

Hard to be enthusiastic about letting a shit bird like that live, eat & homosexually assault fellow prisoners for 23 years....


Kill all these murdering fucks & let GOD sort them out.

Short Squeeze's picture

At least we can be euthanastic about it.

TRM's picture

Upvoted for the clever play on words. Cute.

sheikurbootie's picture

Everyone dies, we choose to accelerate it for a few really bad ones. 

Posa's picture

Gorsuch is out of the pages of Dickens... a nasty, rotten, vicious hangin' judge who never met a corporate account he didn't like... one of Dump's greatest crimes to date.