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Monday, November 28, 2005

SCOTUS Reverses New Trial Order in Ohio Death Penalty Case

From MSNBC.com: Washington (AP): "The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a decision that erased the conviction and death sentence of a U.S.-British citizen in a fatal fire. Justices directed an appeals court to reconsider whether Kenneth Richey was wrongly convicted of the blaze in Ohio that killed a toddler nearly 20 years ago...Richey's lawyer, Kenneth Parsigian, said that investigators first said that the fire was caused by a faulty fan, and allowed the apartment manager to gut the building, with carpet and other potential evidence being hauled to the county landfill. The appeals court had found that Richey's lawyers at trial hired an unqualified forensic expert to investigate the fire and did not adequately challenge the state's handling of the investigation."  So the appellate court ordered a new trial, but now, the Supreme Court has ordered the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the case.  The case is Bradshaw v. Richey, 05-101 (opinion here), and it has attracted international attention, including petitions from the British Parliament, review by Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a letter in support of Richey from the late Pope John Paul II. Read more here. . . [Mark Godsey]

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