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Nation IN BRIEF : COLORADO : Death Penalty Law Fails Test in Court

July 10, 1991|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Colorado Supreme Court found that state's capital punishment statute to be unconstitutional. The law constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because it "mandates imposition of the death penalty when the jury decides that aggravating and mitigating factors (for and against the defendant) are equally balanced," the court said in Denver. The 4-3 decision stemmed from appeals in a Denver murder case. It could change the fate of Ronald Lee White, the only Colorado inmate sentenced to die since the law was amended.

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