The Supreme Court Monday agreed to review a challenge to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's death penalty statute.
The court will hear arguments next term in the case brought by Scott Wayne Blystone, who was found guilty of murder in 1984 and sentenced to death. Blystone was found guilty of picking up a hitchhiker in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, robbing and murdering the man.In seeking the review, Blystone argued that Pennsylvania's death penalty statute was mandatory and therefore violated the Constitution.
Arguing against review, the state said the "death penalty statute is not unconstitutional, despite its mandatory language, because adequate safeguards are contained therein."
In other action, the court:
-Agreed to decide if the state of North Dakota can require out-of-state liquor suppliers to put labels on all bottles of liquor sold on military bases stipulating that the liquor must be consumed on the base.
-Let stand a ruling that the Constitution does not bar a hospital from using tax dollars to hire a chaplain in a case from Iowa, which began in 1984 when the Broadlawns Medical Center, in Polk County, decided to hire a full-time chaplain. Previously, they had used volunteer chaplains. At the time of the suit, the chaplain received a salary of $23,000 a year.