SCHR has established numerous precedents in its death penalty cases which have an impact beyond those it represents. Two of SCHR's cases, Amadeo v. Zant, 486 U.S. 214 (1988), and Ford v. Georgia, 498 U.S. 411 (1991), resulted in two unanimous decisions by the United States Supreme Court setting aside Georgia death sentences because of
racial discrimination at capital trials.
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision sided with the defendant in a Batson claim argued by SCHR President and Senior Counsel Stephen Bright. Snyder v. Louisiana raised the question of whether it was permissible for the prosecutor to strike all five prospective black jurors in order to ask an all-white
jury to return with a death sentence to avenge the O.J. Simpson verdict. To hear the audio argument for Snyder v. Louisiana, click here.
Issues litigated by SCHR in capital cases include: