Wash. Post – Sotomayor questions Alabama death-penalty process

By , Published: November 18

Justice Sonia Sotomayor called Monday for a new look at whether judges should be allowed to overrule juries to impose death sentences, saying that elected judges in Alabama “appear to have succumbed to electoral pressures” in making such decisions.

Although three states allow judges to override jury recommendations that a killer receive life in prison — Florida and Delaware are the others — only judges in Alabama are using the power, Sotomayor wrote.

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