Death Penalty Fails Again
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court granted habeas corpus relief to a man awaiting execution on San Quentin’s death row. The court sustained the defendant’s conviction but stayed the sentence of death. During the penalty phase where the jury decides death or life without parole, the government presented a witness who falsely identified the defendant/petitioner as the man who sexually assaulted her. This evidence, per the court, proved material in the jury returning its death verdict.
While some states execute people on an almost routine schedule, California has, for the moment, largely suspended executing human beings.
See In re David Keith Rodger, SO84292