People v. MerrimanAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, among other crimes. The jury found true the special circumstance allegations that the murder was committed while Defendant was engaged in the commission of rape and oral copulation and the allegation that Defendant personally used a deadly weapon. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) juror misconduct occurred during the guilt phase, but Defendant was not prejudiced by that misconduct, and any error in the trial court’s evidentiary rulings was harmless; (2) there was no cumulative effect of error during the guilt phase; (2) there was no error at the penalty phase; and (3) Defendant’s challenges to the constitutionality of California’s death penalty law were without merit.