Nebraska Supreme Court Takes Over Defense of Capital Defendant:
Carey Dean Moore has been convicted of capital murder and has decided not to raise any more challenges to his sentence or method of conviction. Yesterday, however, the Nebraska Supreme Court has on its own decided to bar the state from executing Moore, at least for now.

  The reason: the Justices are considering the constitutionality of lethal injection the electric chair in another case, and the judicial need "to ensure the integrity of death sentences in Nebraska . . . requires Moore to cede control of his defense" to the Justices of the Nebraska Supreme Court until that issue is settled. The Court explains that the power to take over Moore's defense follows from the Court's "inherent judicial power, which is that power essential to the court's existence, dignity, and functions." The Justices therefore filed and granted their own motion to withdraw the death warrant they had issued that had allowed the state to execute Moore.

  There's nothing unconstitutional about this, as far as I can tell. But it does seem rather strange. For more on the decision — including the reaction of Moore, his attorney, victims of the family, and death penalty activists — the Omaha World-Herald has some details. Thanks to James Creigh for the link.