US courts have resumed their use of the death penalty following the Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday that the nation has the right to execute inmates who are guilty of murder, rape or other sexual offenses.
The justices’ decision overturned the death sentence handed down to George Carlin, who was convicted in 1978 of the murder of his then-girlfriend.
The case is one of many which have been re-examined in the wake of the Supreme Courts’ landmark decision.
The case was brought to light after the Supreme Appeals Court in San Francisco overturned Carlin’s death sentence on the grounds that it violated his Sixth Amendment right to due process.
The ruling came just days after the justices’ 4-3 decision upholding the constitutionality of a death sentence in the case of Johnnie Cochran, a man convicted in 1988 of murder in the shooting death of his former girlfriend.
The decision was widely seen as a victory for those in the death row who fear they will be executed if they are sent to the state penitentiary.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on a petition for rehearing, which would allow the high court to decide whether to reconsider the decision in a later case.