A divided State Supreme Court makes a unanimous ruling in a death penalty case. The Supreme Court has upheld the three murder convictions of Deandra Buchanan, who killed his stepfather, aunt, and girlfriend in Columbia. But the Court has thrown out his three death sentences and resentenced him to life without parole. The Court says the law requires a jury to recommend death before a judge can prnounce a death sentence. In Buchanan’s case, the jury could not agree on such a recommendation and the judge issued the sentence. Three of the seven judges have signed on to the opinion althought hey disagree with the principle. They were on the losing side of a 4-3 earlier ruling that established this precendent. The three judges say they do not like the standard set by that precedent, but that precedent sets the present standard which they must follow, despite their disagrements.
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