Supreme Courts hears Missouri death penalty case
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Supreme Court justices heard arguments Wednesday in a 1987 Missouri murder case involving the death of a witness in a federal drug case.
During William Weaver's trial, a prosecutor told jurors to send a message to drug dealers by returning a death sentence.
The Supreme Court today considered whether those and other remarks unfairly inflamed the jury and violated Weaver's constitutional rights.
Missouri Assistant Attorney General Andrea Spillars argued today that the prosecutor's comments may have been improper, but didn't cause fundamental unfairness.
Weaver's attorney, John Blume, said the prosecutor made inflammatory appeals so that jurors would reach a decision based on passion and not on the facts.