The State Attorney General is pleased that the US Supreme Court has announced it will bring clarity to just who can decide who can be put to death, but he says it won’t impact six decisions already made by the State Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court has agreed to settle a disagreement on the application of its Ring versus Arizona case, in which it invalidated the death sentence laws of states that used a separate sentencing trial before a judge, not a jury. Attorney General Jay Nixon welcomes the clarification. Though Missouri law differs from Arizona law, the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled the Ring decision applies here and has commuted six death sentences to life in prison. Nixon says any clarification by the US Supreme Court won’t affect those decisions. Nixon says a ruling in Washington, though, could help the legislature better understand the death penalty, which could help it craftfuture legislation.
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