August 23, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Petition for Rehearing Denied in Capital Murder Case Due to Harmless Error

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in DeRosa v. Workman on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

Although the Constitution prohibits the sentencing jury in a capital murder case from hearing testimony from the victim’s family, the Court held this was harmless error and denied petitioner’s Petition for Rehearing.

It is worth noting the strong dissent of Judges Lucero, who objects to what he describes as a clearly established pattern in Oklahoma state courts in allowing the sentencing jury in a capital case to hear testimony from the victim’s family in violation of the Constitution.

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