Entries tagged with “Jury Sentencing

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

,

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…

Jun 27, 2023

Florida’s New Non-Unanimous Capital Sentencing Law Faces Retroactivity Challenge in State Supreme Court

The resen­tenc­ing hear­ings of sev­er­al death-sen­tenced men in Florida came to an abrupt halt last week as the Florida Supreme Court con­sid­ers the effect of the state’s new cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing law. Earlier this year, the Florida leg­is­la­ture passed a new cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing law to allow juries to impose a death sen­tence if at least 8 out of 12 jurors vote in favor. But sev­er­al death row defen­dants who were sched­uled to be resen­tenced object­ed that the new law unfair­ly made their chances of being sen­tenced to death more like­ly. The…

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

,

United States Supreme Court

,

Feb 27, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Arizona Man Unconstitutionally Sentenced to Death Is Not Entitled to Jury Resentencing

A divid­ed U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that James McKinney (pic­tured), an Arizona death-row pris­on­er who was uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly sen­tenced to death by a tri­al judge who did not con­sid­er mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence relat­ing to his severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from relent­less child­hood abuse, is not enti­tled to a jury tri­al to deter­mine his sen­tence. On February 25, 2020, in a 5 – 4 opin­ion authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Court upheld the Arizona Supreme Court’s deci­sion to reweigh the aggra­vat­ing and mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence in the case itself and to rein­state McKinney’s death…