Trump’s pick has a history of voting against Sixth Amendment Rights and ignoring the need to reform racist policies
Amy Coney Barrett’s track record reveals an approach to criminal justice issues that ignores the need to reform a broken criminal justice system and dismantle systemic racism.
- Barrett wrote an opinion upholding qualified immunity for police officers who were sued over a car stop involving three Black men who argued the officers lacked reasonable suspicion to pull them over. The officers were investigating a shooting and, though the descriptions didn’t match the car that they pulled over, Barrett found that officers were entitled to immunity because “reasonable suspicion can exist without an exact match.”
- Barrett dissented from a ruling allowing a lawsuit to move forward that alleged excessive use of force by prison guards against two inmates. The majority found that there were disputed facts regarding whether the prison guards acted reasonably or maliciously in firing their weapons in the direction of the inmates, both of whom were hit. Barrett dissented, disregarding evidence that suggested excessive use of force.
- Barrett dissented from a ruling that granted relief to a man who had spent twenty years in prison for a crime whose only eyewitness had been hypnotized prior to testifying. Though the majority found that “the prosecutor’s deliberate concealment of the hypnosis evidence” warranted post-conviction relief, Barrett disagreed.
- Barrett dissented from an en banc opinion that applied the reduced mandatory minimum sentencing requirements of the First Step Act, an important criminal justice reform measure.
- The majority held that, at the time of the enactment of the Act, the defendant was convicted but not yet sentenced, and therefore he was eligible for the Act’s reduced sentencing provision, which would lower his sentence from 50 years to 20.
- Barrett would have denied him the benefit of this law.
- Barrett dissented from a ruling that a prisoner had been denied his Sixth Amendment right to counsel at a critical stage of his prosecution, even though the prisoner’s lawyer was completely excluded from a pretrial discussion of an issue that could have mitigated his sentence.
- In a separate case, Barrett cast the deciding vote to reject a prisoner’s Sixth Amendment claim, letting his conviction stand despite the fact that his defense attorney abandoned his case when the state stopped paying him.