Death Penalty Procedure May Confuse Jurors, Says Va. Court

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Virginia jurors may be sentencing convicted murderers to death because they don’t know they have the option of issuing an alternative sentence of life without parole.

The state’s highest court has warned that the printed form jurors rely on in death-penalty cases is unclear. Defense lawyers and death-penalty opponents say the ambiguous wording on the verdict forms may be resulting in some death-row inmates being executed unnecessarily, although there is no proof of that, says the Virginian-Pilot.


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