Supreme Court Clerks and the Death Penalty

7 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2020 Last revised: 16 Mar 2024

See all articles by Matthew Tokson

Matthew Tokson

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: February 20, 2020


This Essay is part of GW's Supreme Court Clerks at 100 symposium.

The Supreme Court is involved, directly or otherwise, with virtually every execution carried out in the United States. Most executions are appealed to the Court, and inmates commonly request a stay of execution a few days or hours before their scheduled death. The clerks review these requests and recommend a ruling.

A few days after I arrived at the Court, I got my first death penalty assignment. As the date drew near, the defendant asked the Court to stay his execution. I opened his file and began to read.

Keywords: death penalty, supreme court, clerks, clerkships, criminal, capital punishment, sentencing, execution

Suggested Citation

Tokson, Matthew J., Supreme Court Clerks and the Death Penalty (February 20, 2020). 88 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. Arguendo 48 (2020), University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 365, Available at SSRN:

Matthew J. Tokson (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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