Paul House's Exoneration is Just One Example of the U.S. Justice System Getting it Wrong



On May 23, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 against two Arizona individuals on death row in Shinn v. Ramirez, suggesting that "guilt is now besides the point" in death penalty cases. In a 1993 Supreme Court case, Justice Antonin Scalia claimed that the Constitution does not prevent the government from executing a person who new evidence indicates might be “actually innocent." This once-considered outlandish claim has now become law in light of last week's Supreme Court ruling. But the Supreme Court's own history shows how frequently the U.S. justice system gets it wrong. Death row exoneree Paul House may not have been freed had the Supreme Court not ruled in his favor in 2005, despite Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. offering a dissent in favor of Paul House's conviction. Justice Clarence Thomas, who ruled against a second chance for the potentially innocent last week, joined with Justice Roberts in 2005, seemingly unchastened that Roberts' dissent was ultimately wrong. Read more