Unanimous Jury Votes for Life Sentence, but Alabama Judge Imposes Death

Oscar Doster was found guilty earlier this year of capital murder in the course of a robbery in Alabama.  Doster claimed that his co-defendant actually committed the murder.  The jury unanimously recommended that Doster be sentenced to life without parole.  In Alabama, unlike most other death penalty states, the judge is allowed to override a jury's recommendation for life.  Typically in other states, even one juror's vote for a life sentence will prevent the court from imposing a death sentence.  Judge Ashley McKathan rejected the recommendation of all 12 jurors that Doster's life be spared.

(Andalusia Star News, Nov. 22, 2006). 

See Arbitrariness and Sentencing

See also DPIC's report, Blind Justice.