Supreme Court Justices reverse murder conviction based on single ‘eye-witness’

A “single witness” linked Juan Smith to the five murders for which he was convicted in New Orleans in 1995. The Supreme Court reversed Smith’s conviction yesterday, dwelling on that single witness in the 8-1 opinion it handed down. The justices had been “incredulous” at oral argumentsat the conduct of New Orleans prosecutors. So it was an easy case, decided early in the season, with seven justices joining Chief Justice Roberts’ short and sweet three-and-a-half page opinion. But sometimes it is the easy decision that disguises insidious problems. The head prosecutor in New Orleans at the time, Harry Connick Sr., was nowhere to be found in the court’s opinion. (Slate)