George R. Brand


Regulating the judicial system is an inherently difficult task. With multi-ple stakeholder groups often at odds with each other and within themselves, it is almost impossible to create laws, rules, and norms that satisfy everyone. The unnervingly peculiar capital murder case of McCoy v. Louisiana typifies the many competing ideologies and motivations constantly in flux in the American judicial system. While unique idiosyncrasies within this case frame a series of events unlikely to be repeated, the Supreme Court of the United States’ split decision educes this ongoing debate amongst judges, litigants, and legislatures on the best practices and purposes undergirding the entire judicial system. This improbable, upsetting, and downright odd outlier case wields implications for constitutional interpretation, legal ethics, indigent criminal defendants, and the philosophy of the judicial system at large.

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