SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s top court has rejected an attempt to make it harder to impose the death penalty.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of the current system where jurors need not unanimously agree on aggravating factors used to justify the punishment.
Jurors already must unanimously agree to impose a death sentence, and to do so must decide that aggravating factors outweigh mitigating circumstances. But the justices ruled in a 7-0 decision that they don't have to unanimously agree on each aggravating factor.
They also rejected requiring that both the death sentence and the specific aggravating circumstances be justified beyond a reasonable doubt.