Supreme Court reverses new trial order for Tennessee death row inmate
MarkThomas / Pixabay
Supreme Court reverses new trial order for Tennessee death row inmate

The US Supreme Court released an unsigned opinion Monday in Mays v. Hines, summarily reversing a lower court decision that had ordered a new trial for a Tennessee death row inmate.

In the opinion, the Supreme Court held that the evidence for conviction was straightforward.

Anthony Hines was accused and found guilty of murdering Katherine Jenkins at a motel. Hines was seen fleeing in Jenkins’ car wearing a bloody shirt, and Hines’ family said that they heard Hines admit he stabbed someone at the motel. Hines was placed on death row. Thirty-five years later, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Hines was entitled to a new trial because his attorney “should have tried harder to blame another man.”

The Supreme Court found, however, that it was too “farfetched to conclude that Jones–who had discovered Jenkins’ body–reported a gruesome murder, in the presence of a witness, at a place where he was well known to the staff.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the lone dissenter.