Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Executive Office of the President of the United States / Wikimedia Commons

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is calling attention to an Alabama law that allows judges to impose death sentences after juries have voted to send defendants to prison for life.

Sotomayor and Justice Stephen Breyer were the only two justices who voted Monday to hear an appeal from a death row inmate who was convicted of killing a Montgomery, Ala., police officer. Sotomayor took the unusual step of issuing a dissent from the court's order rejecting the appeal of defendant Mario Woodward.