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Justice Stephen Breyer during a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services hearing to review the Supreme Court budget request for fiscal year 2016. March 23, 2015. Justice Stephen Breyer testifies in 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday declined to take up two challenges from Mississippi death row inmates to the constitutionality of the death penalty.

The high court, with one dissent, refused to review Timothy Evans’ claim that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment because of geographic arbitrariness. The justices also turned away Richard Jordan’s claim that incarcerating him for more than 40 years on death row also violates the Eighth Amendment because it fails to serve any legitimate penological purpose. Jordan is now 71.

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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