The Washington Supreme Court held in State v. Dodd that a capital defendant may waive general review of conviction and sentence, and failed to determine whether a defendant may also withhold all mitigating evidence from the sentencing proceeding. The holding limits appellate oversight of death sentences to a degree that fails to ensure Washington's interest in reliable capital punishment. The court should have required general review of both conviction and sentencing in all capital cases. It also should have established a procedure for third-party presentation of mitigating evidence on behalf of capital defendants who insist on withholding such evidence.
Laura A. Rosenwald,
Death Wish: What Washington Court Should Do When a Capital Defendant Wants to Die,
68 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol68/iss3/8