“When must a prosecutor-turned-judge recuse from a capital case?”

I recently wrote a SCOTUSBlog preview for Williams v. Pennsylvania, which is being argued next week. Here’s the first paragraph:

Can a prosecutor first approve a capital-punishment charge and then, after becoming a judge, adjudicate the defendant’s claim that the prosecutor’s own office had engaged in misconduct? That question is at the core of Williams v. Pennsylvania, which the Court will hear next week. The case will likely be a narrow win for the defendant. But the case is interesting in part because a narrow, formal result isn’t entirely satisfying. Though the emerging constitutional law of recusal has focused on relatively extreme cases, the underlying logic of those decisions could be more broadly applicable – potentially reaching even the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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