Justice Kennedy key vote in Supreme Court death cases decided so far: Robert Barnes has this story in the Washingon Post, entitled "Justice Kennedy: The Highly Influential Man in the Middle; Court's 5 to 4 Decisions Underscore His Power."
Excerpt:...Kennedy has been the pivotal vote on every death penalty case decided by the court this year.
...On the death penalty cases that have come before the court this year, for instance, the conservatives have consistently voted to uphold a state's imposition of capital punishment, while the liberals have sided with inmate complaints that their rights were violated.
"So Justice Kennedy is even more of an important swing vote than he was before," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment.
In two of the cases, Kennedy sided with conservatives; in three he voted with the liberals. There are four others pending.
"It's clearly going to be an important role he's playing," Dieter said. "People are speaking to him in their arguments." ...