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Murder conviction overturned for former Chico State student

A former Chico State University student on Death Row has had his murder conviction overturned. Steven Crittenden was sentenced to death in 1989 for the murder of Dr. William Chiappella and Katherine Chiappella. The E-R reports a judge in Sacramento overturned the conviction because the one black juror in the case was dismissed for racial reasons, but the judge in the original trial said race wasn't a factor when the defense brought it up. Local District Attorney Mike Ramsey told the newspaper that overturning the verdict shows federal courts reluctance to enforce the death penalty.

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