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Criminal Law

SCOTUS to hear Arizona death penalty case

The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear the appeal of an Arizona death-row inmate who claims state courts wrongly used old law to reaffirm his death sentences for two 1991 murders.

A ruling in James Erin McKinney’s case could affect as many as 19 other Arizona death-row cases, said his attorneys. They argue that a Supreme Court ruling since McKinney’s crimes were committed requires that he be resentenced by a jury, not a judge.

But the Arizona Attorney General’s Office argued that McKinney’s case was final when it was first affirmed in 1996 – long before the Supreme Court issued the ruling in Ring v. Arizona that defense attorneys are invoking now.

Read the source article at azcapitoltimes.com

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