Monday, June 22, 2015

In Re Welch (Cal. Supreme Ct. - June 22, 2015)

Here's an example of speedy justice.

To be clear:  I'm being sarcastic.

David Welch committed a heinous crime.  In 1986.  The jury found him guilty, and sentenced him to death, in 1989.

The California Supreme Court only took a full decade to resolve his direct appeal.  It affirmed in 1999.

To reiterate:  All these events transpired in the previous century.

Welch filed his first state habeas petition in 2002.  That's going to take a little while to percolate through the system, right?

Yep.  It's now 2015.  Over a dozen years later.  And only today does the California Supreme Court resolve the merits of this petition.  Which it unanimously rejects.

Mr. Welch was 28 at the time of his offense.  He's now 57.  And he hasn't even commenced litigation of this federal habeas petitions.

There's no way he's going to be put to death.  He'll die in prison.  The nearly thirty years (and counting) of litigation about his sentence are a meaningless waste.