December 5, 2011

Supreme Court reverses death penalty judgment

The Supreme Court did something today it rarely does anymore — it reversed a death penalty judgment. And it reversed not only the penalty phase verdict, but the guilt phase verdict as well.

In People v. Allen and Johnson, the court unanimously concluded that the trial court improperly dismissed a juror. Under a heightened standard of review for juror dismissals, the court concluded that “th[e] record does not manifestly support” the trial court’s conclusion that the juror had prejudged the case or relied on facts outside the record.

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