WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a new review of the death sentence given to an Oklahoma man who stands convicted of killing a woman and her two children.
Pointing to one of its previous decisions, the high court said relatives of the victims should not have been allowed to ask the jury for the death sentence.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has been upholding victim impact statements with recommendations about sentencing, despite the 1987 Supreme Court ruling against them in capital cases.
The 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, of which Oklahoma is part, also has said the sentence recommendations are not allowed. But the state appeals court asserted that it wasn’t bound by the 10th Circuit’s views.