Supreme Court justices find judicial bias in Pa. death-row case

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 9, 2016 12:16 PM

(Washington) -- The Supreme Court has ruled that a state judge was wrong to participate in the case of a death row inmate whose prosecution he personally approved nearly 30 years earlier.

The justices voted 5-3 to hold that the judge violated defendant Terrance ``Terry'' Williams' constitutional rights by taking part in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's consideration of Williams' case.

Ronald Castille was the Philadelphia district attorney when he signed off on the death penalty prosecution of Williams in 1986.

Nearly 30 years later, Castille was chief justice of Pennsylvania's top court when it voted unanimously to reinstate Williams' death sentence after a lower court judge had tossed it out.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing for Williams, even though Castille was just one of six votes.

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