Justices speak out about death penalty, but executions go on

    The dramatic anti-death penalty dissent by two experienced Supreme Court justices is not expected to be of any help to death-row inmates who face imminent execution.

    The court probably will weigh in over the next few days on Texas’ plans to execute two death row inmates.

    If past practice is any guide, the Supreme Court is much more likely to allow the lethal-injection executions to proceed than to halt them.

    Opponents of the death penalty took heart when Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg made the case against capital punishment in late June as arbitrary, prone to mistakes and time-consuming.

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    Even if death penalty opponents eventually succeed, the timeline for abolition likely will be measured in years, not months.

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