Entries tagged with “Don’te McDaniel

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Jun 07, 2021

California Supreme Court Hears Case That Could Undo Hundreds of State Death Sentences

The California Supreme Court heard oral argu­ment on June 2, 2021 in a cap­i­tal case whose out­come could affect the fate of hun­dreds of pris­on­ers on the state’s death row. Supported by friend-of-the-court briefs by California Governor Gavin Newsom and an alliance of pro­gres­sive California dis­trict attor­neys, lawyers for death row pris­on­er Don’te McDaniel argued to the court that California’s cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing scheme is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al because it fails to require that cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing juries reach a unan­i­mous deter­mi­na­tion of each of the aggra­vat­ing fac­tors in a case that jus­ti­fy imposing…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Sep 10, 2021

California Supreme Court Upholds Death-Penalty Statute Against Challenge That Could Have Overturned Hundreds of Death Sentences

The California Supreme Court has upheld the state’s death-penal­ty statute against a con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge that had the poten­tial to over­turn the sen­tences of hun­dreds of peo­ple on California’s death row. In a unan­i­mous rul­ing issued August 26, 2021 in People v. McDaniel, the court held that a cap­i­tal jury need not unan­i­mous­ly agree to the exis­tence of an aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stance before weigh­ing it in the sen­tenc­ing deci­sion so long as every juror found that the pros­e­cu­tion had proven at least one aggra­vat­ing cir­cum­stance that jus­ti­fied a death sen­tence beyond a…