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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Williams v. New York
Citation:337 U.S. 241, 69 S.Ct. 1079, 93 L.Ed. 1337.
The defendant was convicted of murder after a trial. The jury recommended life imprisonment, but the trial judge imposed the sentence of death. The judge gave reasons why he felt that the death sentence should be imposed. He narrated the shocking details of the crime, the defendant’s criminal background (which included thirty other burglaries in the same area the murder was committed) and certain activities of the defendant that indicated that he possessed “a morbid sexuality” and classified him as a “menace to society.” This information about the defendant was contained in the probation report, but had not been available to the jury.
The Court of Appeals of New York affirmed. The defendant appealed.
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