During a triple-murder trial's penalty phase, a Superior Court judge disparaged the defense lawyer, berated defense witnesses, made objections on the prosecution's behalf, and led jurors to believe incorrectly that the defendant had been convicted of premeditated murder. The California Supreme Court rewarded Judge Donald McCartin's performance by reversing that death sentence Monday. McCartin, the justices held, had crossed the line to the point of committing misconduct and prejudicing the trial's outcome.
Judge's Conduct Overturns Death Sentence
March 8, 2006
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