By Michael Kiefer | The Republic
Arizona defense attorneys on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether state statutes give too much discretion to prosecutors to determine which murders deserve to be punished by a death penalty, and whether the inability of certain counties to fund capital trials violates the due process clause of the Constitution.
The petition for a writ of certiorari, as such requests are known, also extrapolates to the nation as a whole. It asks the high court if it is time to reconsider the death penalty in light of changing opinions, nationally and internationally, as to whether it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
It will be months before the court decides if it will hear the case.
The question has been bouncing around Arizona courts since 2015. In March, the Arizona Supreme Court knocked it down, ruling that the state statutes were sufficient.