Supreme Court: Oral Arguments Today
Via Mark Godsey at Crim Prof Blog: The Supreme Court will hear oral argument today in two cases, including one which will determine whether a death penalty jury must be advised that if it rejects death, the defendant will receive life without parole.
Rompilla v. Beard, 04-5462, questions presented: (1) Does Simmons v. South Carolina, 512 U.S. 154 (1994) require a life-without-parole jury instruction where the only alternative to a death sentence under state law is life without the possibility of parole? (2) Has a defendant received unconsitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel at a capital sentencing hearing where counsel does not review the defendant's prior conviction record which would provide mitigating evidence regarding the defendant's traumatic childhood and mental health impairments? More details here.
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