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The State

January 03, 1986

State Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Lucas said he voted to reverse several death sentences "only under the 'compulsion' of the rule in earlier cases in which I did not participate and with which I strongly disagree." The justice described his reluctance to join his colleagues in reversing several death sentences in a letter printed in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Joining a majority opinion under compulsion of an earlier case (decision) is somewhat like joining the army under duress of being drafted," Lucas wrote. "In both situations, the exercise of free will is seriously in doubt." Lucas, who voted to reverse six of the first 11 death sentences he considered, said he would have affirmed eight of them had his view been in the majority.

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