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Nixon Disagrees with Re-Sentencing Death Row Inmates

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Mo. Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon (KWMU photo)

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General is criticizing Missouri's highest court for taking three inmates off death row Tuesday.

Justices changed the men's sentences to life in prison because a judge and not a jury imposed the death penalty.

Nixon says he agrees with the court's view that only a unanimous jury should impose death. But he disagrees with the Supreme Court taking the next step and automatically changing the sentence.

"And I think the cases should have been sent back to the trial court for either a rehearing on sentencing or to allow formal sentencing by a judge. I don't think the Supreme Court, without hearing any evidence or seeing any witnesses, should make those calls. But the vote was 7-nothing against us and that's the law of the state," Nixon said.

Nixon made the comments at UM-St. Louis where he spoke to high school students about the importance of voting.

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