Should courts wait for inmates to be competent? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Should courts wait for inmates to be competent?

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Russian aid trucks begin to leave Ukraine

    Russian aid trucks begin to leave Ukraine

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:48 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:48:03 GMT
    Some of the trucks in a Russian aid convoy that entered Ukraine in a move denounced by Kiev as an invasion are returning to Russia.More >>
    Hundreds of trucks from a bitterly disputed Russian aid convoy to rebel-held eastern Ukraine rolled back across the border into Russia on Saturday.More >>
  • Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid

    Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:35 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:35:16 GMT
    A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
    Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, two senior officials in the group said Saturday. Palestinian acceptance of the court's jurisdiction could expose Israel -...More >>
  • Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later

    Paris to celebrate end to Nazi rule 70 years later

    Saturday, August 23 2014 6:12 AM EDT2014-08-23 10:12:37 GMT
    Her code name was Rainer and she had a gun she called Oscar. Not yet 20, she aimed her weapon at a Nazi officer and shot him to death on a Paris bridge on a Sunday afternoon.More >>
    Her code name was Rainer and she had a gun she called Oscar. Not yet 20, she aimed her weapon at a Nazi officer and shot him to death on a Paris bridge on a Sunday afternoon.More >>
WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Supreme Court is questioning whether federal judges can delay appeals from death row inmates while determining whether an inmate is competent enough to assist in his or her own defense.

Inmates appealing state death sentences have a right to a lawyer in their federal appeal. But the courts have never said whether inmates have to be competent enough to help their lawyer.

Lawyers for Arizona death row inmate Ernest Gonzales and Ohio death row inmate Sean Carter say yes, and federal judges should have discretion to hold up proceedings until they're ready.

But the federal government and some states argue there should be no delays in cases when the necessary information can be found state trial records, and say there should be a time limit in all other instances.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow