A southern New Jersey man who gunned down a supermarket pharmacist in 2005 has had his sentence vacated on appeal.

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Steven Wright was convicted of the fatal shooting of Carol Ann Bradford at a ShopRite in Vineland. Wright's history of mental illness was brought out during the trial, and the jury sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Friday's ruling set aside the sentence and ordered a new sentencing because, in the judges' opinion, the prosecution made contradictory arguments during the trial and penalty phase.

The judges wrote that the prosecution defeated Wright's insanity defense by arguing that his journals showed he was motivated by anger. But during the penalty phase, they wrote, the prosecution sought life without parole by claiming Wright acted with a depraved mind.

 

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