If a jury finds that a person sentenced to death for a crime committed while on death row has not been found guilty of the crime, does this constitute a miscarriage of justice?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Kimble, 244 Cal.Rptr. 148, 44 Cal.3d 480, 749 P.2d 803 (Cal. 1988):

But even if I should assume for argument's sake that the premise is valid, I believe that the error considered here would nevertheless require automatic reversal on due process grounds under the reasoning of Cabana v. Bullock, supra, 474 U.S. 376, 106 S.Ct. 689, 88 L.Ed.2d 704.

In Bullock the United States Supreme Court held that "If a person sentenced to death in fact killed, attempted to kill, or intended to kill, the Eighth Amendment[, as construed in Enmund v. Florida (1982) 458 U.S. 782, 102 S.Ct. 3368, 73 L.Ed.2d 1140,] ... is not violated by his or her execution regardless of who makes the determination of the requisite culpability...." (474 U.S. at p. 386, 106 S.Ct. at p. 697.) In so holding, the court rejected the proposition that "Enmund can be satisfied only at a sentencing hearing and by a jury's decision ... that the defendant possessed the requisite culpability." (Id. at p. 384, 106 S.Ct. at p. 696.)

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