California Supreme Court upholds death penalty rules | News
SACRAMENTO — California’s top court rejected an attempt to make it harder to impose the death penalty, ruling Thursday in favor of the current system where jurors need not unanimously agree on aggravating factors used to justify the punishment.
Jurors already must unanimously agree to impose a death sentence, and to do so must decide that aggravating factors outweigh mitigating circumstances.
But they do not have to unanimously agree on each specific aggravating factor, the California Supreme Court said in a 7-0 decision. Those factors include things like having multiple or prior victims, the slaying being gang-related or spurred by a victim’s race or religion, or the murder being “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”
The justices upheld that longstanding practice in a case that otherwise could…