Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Another Blow against the Death Penalty

Supreme Court deals blow to Florida's death sentencing system
Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down Florida's system of letting judges, not juries, decide whether convicted criminals deserve the death penalty.”

“In Florida, judges can impose the death penalty even if the jury has not ruled unanimously or agreed on any aggravating circumstance. If the jury has issued a recommendation, the judge doesn't have to follow it. No other state gives judges such discretion.”

Courts, States put Death Penalty on Life Support
Richard Wolf and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

"The imposition and implementation of the death penalty seems capricious, random, indeed arbitrary,'' Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissenting from the court's June decision allowing the continued use of a problematic sedative for lethal injections. "From a defendant's perspective, to receive that sentence, and certainly to find it implemented, is the equivalent of being struck by lightning."