- May 3, 2012
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Can anyone explain the special circumstances bit please?
Certain states require that in order for Death Penalty to be an optional penalty during the penalty phase, then the crime would have needed to have "Special Circumstances".
One of those special circumstances is if a person murders more than 1 person in the crime as was this case. So this case qualifies for DP sentencing.
Here is a snippet from an article that explains all about it.
"California's law on special circumstances murder (also known as capital murder) exists partly to address this concern. Because of this law, juries can't impose the California death penalty on someone found guilty of murder just because they feel like it or take a personal dislike to the defendant.
Instead, a murder defendant can only be sentenced to death if they are convicted of first degree murder, and if the murder involved a so-called "special circumstance."4 The special circumstances that can elevate a murder into special circumstances murder are listed in Penal Code 190.2 PC.5
"Special Circumstances" in California murder cases