The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and raciallybiased manner. While this particular case provides an opportunity to specificallyaddress racial disproportionality, the underlying issues that underpin our holding are rooted in the arbitrary manner in which the death penalty is generally administered. As noted by appellant, the use of the death penalty is unequally applied—sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant. The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal; thus, it violates article I, section 14 of our state constitution.
The ruling is based entirely on the State constitution so it is not appealable to, or dependent on, the United States Supreme Court.
Hat/tip to ACLU