Scalia: 'Wouldn't surprise me' if death penalty struck down

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Antonin Scalia
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at the University of Minnesota as part of the law school's Stein Lecture series, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone | AP

Justice Antonin Scalia says it "wouldn't surprise" him to see the U.S. Supreme Court invalidate the death penalty after moving in recent years to restrict its application.

Scalia addressed capital punishment during a University of Minnesota Law School appearance Tuesday. Scalia says death penalty decisions from the court have made it "practically impossible to impose it, but we have not formally held it to be unconstitutional."

Scalia says "add-ons" from the court include making it impermissible to automatically sentence people to death for certain crimes, such as killing a police officer.

In his 30th year on the Supreme Court, Scalia is the longest-tenured current justice. The 79-year-old has no plan to retire, saying it won't happen unless he gets "lazier and just can't do the job as well."

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