A clash of cultures and governments over the death penalty has erupted in Puerto Rico, pitting the commonwealth against the United States and the state of Pennsylvania.
A capital trial has begun in a federal court in Puerto Rico, and, next month, a public defender is set to fight the extradition from Puerto Rico of a man facing a murder charge in Pennsylvania, because it might be charged as a capital crime.
Both situations stir the passions of Puerto Rican nationals, and a large segment of the island’s legal community. The commonwealth outlawed the death penalty in 1929. Its Constitution, ratified by Congress in 1952, provides: “The death penalty shall not exist.”
This is shaping up to be an interesting battle, as Law.com reports here.