Today the Court announced its decision in State v. Roberts, a death penalty appeal that had made two prior trips to the Supreme Court. In the first appeal, the Court vacated the death sentence because the trial judge had engaged in improper ex parte communications with the prosecutor, and had allowed the prosecutor to assist in drafting the sentencing opinion. In the second appeal, the Court vacated the death sentence because the trial court had (apparently) failed to consider the defendant's allocution.
This time, the Court affirms. Justice O'Neill concurred in the judgment affirming the conviction, but dissented as to the imposition of the death penalty (as he now always does). Chief Justice O'Connor concurred in the judgment only.
This blog has previously covered the case of Roberts's co-defendant, Nathaniel Jackson, whose conviction and sentence were affirmed last summer.