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SCOTUS to weigh if DA-turned-judge had murder case conflict

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 29, 2016 3:58 AM
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FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, in honor of Justice Antonin Scalia, a flag in the Supreme Court building's front plaza flies at half-staff in Washington.

(Philadelphia) -- A Pennsylvania death row inmate has a simple challenge for the U.S. Supreme Court: The same person shouldn't be both his prosecutor and judge.  

Yet Terrance "Terry'' Williams says that's exactly what happened to him. 

Williams says then-Philadelphia District Attorney Ronald Castille signed off on the death penalty prosecution in 1986 and then voted on Williams' appeal as chief justice of the state Supreme Court in 2014. 

The court reinstated Williams' death sentence, reversing a judge who'd found that Castille's prosecutors hid evidence in the case.  

The case goes before the nation's highest court today.

Castille says he's confident he was fair and impartial. 

Williams' lawyers call Castille's dual role an outrage. 

Eight justices are hearing the case, in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death earlier this month.  


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