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Friday, July 3, 2009

Sotomayor's Empathy on Display

President Obama nominates Sonia Sotomayor
Image by Jay Tamboli via Flickr

Sotomayor Achilles' heel? Wrongly imprisoned man

Jeff Deskovic served 16 years of a 15-life sentence for rape and murder. One of his appeals, six years before his innocence was proved, was rejected by Sonia Sotomayor on a technicality.

In nominating her to succeed Justice Souter, President Obama cited her empathy. This quote from the World Net Daily article [linked above] says it all.

According to reports, his lawyer asked a court clerk about the deadline and was told it had to be mailed by that date. Wrong. The court rules required delivery by that date.

When the paperwork arrived late it was dismissed. Eventually Sotomayor and other appellate judge found that such a mistake didn't "rise to the level of an extraordinary circumstance" and dismissed it.

"The district court correctly dismissed Deskovic's petition as untimely," the appeals court decision from Sotomayor concluded. A subsequent appeal was dismissed with the terse: "It is ordered that said petition for rehearing is denied."

In light of the fact that a subsequent search discovered a dna match to the murderer, who confessed to the crime, we can only conclude that Judge Sotomayor's empathy only extends to members of her own ethnicity. Her lack of empathy for a wrongly convicted man cost him six years in prison.

What if Deskovic had been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit? She'd have sent an innocent man to the gallows. Lets point this fact out to our Senators prior to her confirmation hearing.

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