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A n en banc 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the death sentence of a convicted double-murderer on Wednesday, with some judges urging lower courts to err on the side of mercy when deciding appeals of similar gravity.

Demetrie Mayfield, who has been on death row since a jury sentenced him for the 1983 San Bernardino shotgun killings of two people, will be resentenced because the 9th Circuit held that his attorney was ineffective at the penalty phase of his trial.

While the court declined to overturn his guilty verdict on the same basis, it had no reservations in giving Mayfield’s death sentence a vote of no confidence. None of the eleven judges voted to uphold it, although just seven formed the majority.

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