Friday, April 22, 2022

People v. Bloom (Cal. Supreme Ct. - April 21, 2022)

It's a 75-page-plus death penalty opinion. The defendant (Robert Bloom) admits that he killed his father but denies that he killed his stepmother and stepsister; nonetheless, against his wishes, his lawyer admits at trial that Mr. Bloom killed all three victims. The jury finds Mr. Bloom guilty of all three crimes and sentences him to death. California Supreme Court affirms the conviction of the father but reverses the convictions for the other two deaths, alongside the death sentence. The case gets remanded for a retrial on the other two deaths and on the death penalty, if the prosecution so elects.

The murders occurred in 1982. Mr. Bloom was first convicted in late 1983 and sentenced in 1984; after a federal court granted Mr. Bloom's habeas petition, he was retried in 2000 and sentenced to death.

It's now 2022. Four decades after the crimes. Now we're deciding whether to try again to sentence him to death. A sentence that's, practically, never going to be carried out anyway.