Amicus letter in OSPD v. Bonta S284496


On April 9, 2024 the State Public Defender filed a petition for a writ of mandate in the California Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction, challenging the state’s capital punishment system with an equal protection argument. The matter is captioned Office of the State Public Defender v. Bonta (S284496). For a complete description of the petition and its context, we recommend this At the Lectern article by David Ettinger.

Two affiliates of Berkeley Law’s California Constitution Center filed an amicus curiae letter brief in this matter (filing as the California Constitution Scholars), arguing that rather than granting an alternative writ and confronting the merits in its original jurisdiction, California’s high court should instead send this matter down to a trial court to build a record. Such an amicus letter will not appear on the court’s docket at this stage of an original proceeding like this because the court has not yet decided if it will hear the merits. Accordingly, that amicus letter is reproduced below to make it publicly available and to inform the public.

The University of California is not party to this letter, nor was it filed on behalf of any University of California entity; titles and affiliation are for identification only.