On December 12, 2016, by a vote of 6-2, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the cert. petition filed by Romell Broom in Broom v. Ohio. Justices Breyer and Kagan voted to grant the petition. Broom sought to overturn State v. Broom, 2016-Ohio-1028, a 4-3 decision in which the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a second attempt to carry out the death penalty after the first attempt at lethal injection failed was neither cruel and usual punishment nor a double jeopardy violation under either the U.S. or Ohio Constitutions.
Broom raised these issues in his petition:
- Was the first attempt to execute Broom cruel and unusual under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and if so, is the appropriate remedy to bar any further execution attempt on Broom?
- Will a second attempt to execute Broom be a cruel and unusual punishment and denial of Due Process in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?
- Will a second attempt to execute Broom violate Double Jeopardy protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?
According to SCOTUSblog, the justices relisted Broom’s case four times before denying Broom’s petition. While the petition was pending, I couldn’t decide if the case was so unusual the Court would never hear it, or if the case was so unusual it was the perfect vehicle to revisit the death penalty, as Justice Breyer has been urging.