Saturday, December 18, 2004
CNN.com reports: "Six inmates will be resentenced and avoid execution after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state's death penalty law is unconstitutional. In its 4-3 opinion, the state high court said the 1994 law is flawed because of a provision about how jurors should weigh death penalty arguments during sentencing. The Kansas law states that when juries find arguments for and against execution equal, their decision should favor a death sentence. But a majority of the justices said such a requirement violates the Eighth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, according to court officials.
The Kansas statute's 'express language was clearly intended to mandate the imposition of a death sentence when the existence of aggravating circumstances was not outweighed by any mitigating circumstances,' the opinion states."