Prisons

Supreme Court rules Constitution doesn't guarantee "painless" execution

United States Supreme Court
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines Monday that the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment," does not mean death row inmates are guaranteed a "painless" execution.

"The Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death — something that, of course, isn’t guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes."
— Justice Neil Gorsuch

Details: Russell Bucklew, a convicted murderer sentenced to death 22 years ago, argued that a rare medical condition he has would make lethal injection extremely painful, per the Washington Post. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that Bucklew failed to propose an alternative method of capital punishment that would be less painful, arguing that it shouldn't be a difficult task unless the inmate is simply seeking to delay his execution.

Supreme Court rules government can detain convicted immigrants years after release

Supreme Court
Supreme Court. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

The Supreme Court handed a win to the Trump administration Tuesday, ruling 5-4 that the government can detain convicted immigrants who have completed their sentence and are awaiting deportation, even years after they have been released from jail or prison, CNN reports.

Details: The ruling reversed a lower court decision that required the government to immediately detain immigrants released from criminal custody, rather than wait months or years. The court's conservative justices argued that limited government resources and other factors make it difficult to do so.