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John Doe
U.S. appeals court overturns death sentence of California man
U.S. appeals court overturns death sentence of California man

A federal appeals court unanimously overturned the death sentence Tuesday of a California man, ruling that his lawyer was incompetent during the penalty phase of his trial. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered California to reduce the inmate’s sentence to life without parole or give him a new sentencing trial on the grounds that his lawyer failed to investigate and present evidence that might have persuaded the jury to spare his life. Tuesday’s decision referred to the inmate as only John Doe, saying sexual abuse he suffered in prison might “place him at risk in a prison environment.” The ruling also referred to others...

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