Washington (AP) — supreme court judgment On Wednesday, a man on death row in Arizona said he was wrongly told by a jury in his case that the only way to ensure he would never be free was to sentence him to death. should be outraged.
In the opinion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the 5-4 decision states: John Montenegro Cruz If sentenced to life in prison instead of the death penalty, he should get a new penal step in his trial that makes it clear to jurors that he is ineligible for parole.
The case is important not only for Cruz, but also for other death row inmates in Arizona whose jurors received similar misinformation.Arizona currently has approximately 100 death row inmatesIt is not clear how many of them will be subject to new sentencing hearings.
Cruz had argued that the jury should have been informed that he was ineligible for parole. He said he was unable to do
At least one juror said that had he known “life in prison without parole” was an alternative to the death penalty, he “would have voted for that option.”
Cruz was convicted of killing Tucson police officer Patrick Hardesty in 2003. Hardesty and another officer were investigating a hit-and-run accident when Cruz shot Hardesty five times as he tried to flee.
1994 Supreme Court case, Simmons v. South Carolinain certain death penalty cases, jurors must be told that choosing life imprisonment means life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Required if claimed by
An Arizona court denied application of this decision. In the 2016 case, Lynch v. Arizona, the Supreme Court directly told Arizona it needed to follow Simmons. Cruz says Arizona continues to challenge the High Court.
The case is Cruise v. Arizona, 21-846.