CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Federal Court In Massachusetts Becomes First Federal Court to Require Separate Juries For Guilt and Penalty Phases in Capital Case

A federal court in Massachusetts became the first federal court in this country to rule that capital defendants must be provided separate juries at the guilt and sentencing phases of their trials.  Judge Nancy Gertner held that "updated data presented by defendants in this case overwhelmingly shows that death-qualified jurors are significantly more conviction-prone than jurors who are not death-qualified."  Thus, a defendant's right to a fair trial requires that those jurors determining guilt are not death-qualified as sentencing jurors are required to be.

For more, click here.

Mark Godsey

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