More Coverage on the CA Death Penalty Case

LA Times reporter Maura Dolan has this comprehensive piece on the California Supreme Court’s oral argument in People v. McDaniel.  The question before the court is whether or not the law requires that a jury decide beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant should get the death penalty or life without parole, and the jury must also be unanimous in deciding the reasons for a capital verdict?  This requirement has never been part of the law or any accepted precedent.  If the court agreed, a ruling would probably throw out hundreds, if not all, previous death sentences in California.  An important takeaway from yesterday’s argument was the questioning of the murderer’s lawyer by Justice Goodwin Liu, a key liberal member of the Court, who asked if it is possible  “that this issue has simply been missed this entire time? For 150 years, we have missed this issue?”