A Georgia death row inmate may win a reprieve because of a chocolate penis and pair of breasts. Jurors at the 1993 murder trial of Marcus Wellons sent the lewd gifts to the judge and chief bailiff after Wellons was sentenced to death. "There were unusual events going on behind the scenes" at that trial, the Supreme Court decided yesterday, ruling that Atlanta's federal appeals court should take a closer look at the case.
"Judicial proceedings conducted for the purpose of deciding whether a defendant shall be put to death must be conducted with dignity and respect," the justices wrote in a 5-4 decision. Lawyers for Wellons, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl, argue that the gifts show "evidence of the jury's racial bias," the Los Angeles Times reports.