High court's Alito votes against execution

Feb. 2, 2006 at 8:22 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Newly confirmed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito voted with liberal judges to refuse Missouri's request to execute a death row inmate.

Hours after a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House, in his first official legal business as an associate justice, Alito backed out of participating in two emergency applications from inmates facing execution in Texas and Florida.

But Wednesday night, the conservative Alito voted with liberal and moderate judges in a 6-3 decision against Missouri's last-minute request for a midnight execution of Michael Taylor. He was sentenced to death for the 1989 kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas supported allowing the execution to proceed.

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