Miss. death row inmate challenges resentencing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s oldest death row inmate argues Wednesday to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his constitutional rights were violated when, at his re-sentencing, he was not allowed to rebut prosecutors’ claim that he killed a teenager while raping her.

Gerald James Holland, now 71, contends there’s constitutional question about what evidence a defendant can present when facing a new sentencing hearing for a capital crime.

In 2007, a 5th Circuit panel agreed the full court should hear the issue.

In Mississippi, capital murder cases require two jury trials – one to decide guilt or innocence, and another to determine a life sentence or death.

Mississippi defines capital murder as murder committed with another felony.

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