The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday against a Texas death-row inmate convicted in the 2008 deaths of a 5-year-old girl and her grandmother. In a 5-4 decision—split across ideological lines—the court rejected the Erick Davila's claims that the ineffective counsel he received during his appeal violated his rights under the Sixth Amendment. During his initial trial Davila said he intended to kill only a rival gang member, not the man’s daughter and mother. Davila would have been ineligible for the death penalty had the jury believed this intent, but the trial judge allegedly misled the jury on this issue, and Davila’s appeals lawyer failed to bring that up. “Because a prisoner does not have a constitutional right to counsel in state post-conviction proceedings, ineffective assistance in those proceedings does not qualify as cause to excuse a procedural default,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion. The inmate can now face an execution date.