A federal district judge has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional in federal cases because it is certain that some number of innocent people will be executed and thus denied due process. The ruling does not apply anywhere outside the case for which the ruling was issued, but if Judge Rakoff’s argument is upheld in higher courts, then it could eliminate the federal death penalty altogether. Furthermore, there’s no reason why Rakoff’s logic is specific to federal cases, so were it to be upheld in the Supreme Court, we could see the state death penalty ended as well.