The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear 2 cases involving the imposition of the death penalty in murder cases. The first case is out of Illinois and involves the case of Dr. Ronald Mikos. Dr. Mikos was facing allegations of Medicare Fraud. In 2005 he was convicted of the murder of a former patient so he could keep her from testifying against him and sentenced to death. At his trial, he refused to testify. During the sentencing phase the prosecutors argued that his unwillingness to testify showed a lack of remorse. After he was sentenced to death, jurors cited his lack of remorse as a reason for imposing the death penalty. Mikos argued that his unwillingness to testify did not show a lack of remorse and objected to the prosecutor arguing to the jury that it did. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld the death sentence and the United States Supreme Court refused to review the case without comment.
The case is Mikos v. United States, 08-1280.
The Supreme Court decided not to get involved in a case involving how the death penalty is imposed in Louisiana. In this case, the defendant was sentenced to death for her role in a brutal murder. A co-defendant was also convicted of murder and also received a death sentence. The case presented an opportunity for the Supreme Court to determine whether the death penalty in Louisiana is arbitrarily imposed on some defendants while others in similar circumstances are sentenced to life in prison.
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