Jackson, in contradiction, issues the Supreme Court’s first opinion

WASHINGTON (AP) — New Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered her first Supreme Court ruling, a brief appeal Monday in support of a death-row inmate from Ohio.

Jackson wrote that in the case of inmate Davel Chinn, whose attorneys argued that the state had suppressed evidence that might have altered the outcome of his trial, she overturned lower court decisions.

Jackson wrote in a two-page statement that she ordered a reconsideration of Chinn’s case “because his life is at stake and given the substantial likelihood that the suppressed records would have altered the outcome of the trial.”

The evidence in question indicated that a key witness against Chinn had an intellectual disability that may have affected his memory and ability to testify accurately, she wrote.

Prosecutors are required to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. In that case, lower courts ruled that the outcome would not have been affected if the witness records had been made available to Chinn’s attorneys.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor was the only other member of the court who shared Jackson’s opinion. The two judges were also allies on Monday in contradicting Sotomayor’s opinion that there had been serious prosecutorial misconduct in the trial of a Louisiana man convicted of sex trafficking.

Jackson joined the High Court on June 30 after Justice Stephen Breyer, her former boss, retired.

The court has yet to rule on one of the cases heard in October or the first few days of this month. Jackson will almost certainly write a majority opinion in one of those cases. Jackson, in contradiction, issues the Supreme Court’s first opinion

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