Arizona's Ring Cycle
49 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2012
In Ring, the Supreme Court held that the finding of an aggravating factor, as required to be eligible for a sentence of death under the Arizona sentencing scheme, could not be made by a judge alone. Each exclusively judge-based sentence of death that was pending at the time Ring was handed down spurred a duty on the part of state courts to either change the sentence from death to life or remand the case for re-sentencing under a new capital sentencing statute. The death penalty “ring cycle” then is comprised of the remands and re-sentencings as necessary to comply with the Sixth Amendment. This Article is the first to provide an empirical examination of the results in Ring remand cases. Specifically, the Article details the Ring remand procedures and the results of these remands as they played out in Arizona.
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