WJTV News Channel 12 - Death Penalty Appeal Before Miss. High Court

Death Penalty Appeal Before Miss. High Court

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Jackson - Attorneys for a death row inmate will ask the Mississippi Supreme Court Tuesday to find unconstitutional a state law that allows it to find "harmless" errors committed by juries in death penalty cases.
    
Roger Gillett was convicted in 2007 in Forrest County on two counts of capital murder for his role in the deaths of a Hattiesburg couple and transporting their bodies to Kansas in a freezer.
    
While in custody in Kansas, he attempted to escape. That crime was one of the aggravating factors prosecutors presented Mississippi jurors to support the death penalty.
    
The law was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in another Mississippi capital case in 1990 that state appellate courts can uphold murderers' death sentences, even if their sentencing juries wrongly considered some adverse evidence.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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