Washington, Dec. 1 (Reuters): The US Supreme Court said today it would decide whether to apply retroactively its ruling that juries and not judges must impose death sentences, an issue that could affect hundreds of death row inmates in 10 states.
The high court agreed to hear an appeal by Arizona to clarify whether the precedent-setting ruling in 2002 should be applied retroactively to pending cases under review.
Arizona appealed after a US appeals court in San Francisco ruled by an 8-3 vote the decision should be applied retroactively to inmates who are awaiting execution. Arizona said the ruling affected 88 of its inmates who face execution. It said the ruling created uncertainty in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska and Nevada.