CrimProf Blog

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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

DE: Capano Death Sentence Reversed

Former Attorney and Prosecutor Thomas Capano, sentenced to death for killing an ex-girlfriend, won a reversal because the jury recommending death was not unanimous.  The Delaware Supreme Court divided 3-2 on whether a new penalty phase was permissible; the majority said yes.  Ring v. Arizona, the key constitutional case for Capano's claim, was decided one week before the Supreme Court denied cert. on the Delaware Supreme Court's earlier affirmance of his conviction.  Accordingly, his case was still "pending on direct appeal" and the Delaware courts treated the principle as applicable in his new round of challenges.  Capano is one lucky jailbird.  Story here, opinion here. [Jack Chin]

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