CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Crimprof Michael Mello Discusses Suicide by Court Case

From University of Vermont Crimprof Michael Mello recently discussed Like the case of Marco Allen Chapman wants to go ahead with his execution after admitting he brutally killed two children and left their sister and mother for dead.

What makes Chapman's case groundbreaking, lawyers say, is his decision to waive trial and sentencing by a jury, and then nearly beg to be sentenced to death. CrimProfs, such as Crimprof Mello, have found Chapman's case — and its potential implications for future defendants — disturbing.

His own lawyers say Chapman is trying to use the legal system to commit "suicide by court."

On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the legality of Chapman's request, part of the automatic appeals process in all death penalty cases.

The case has the unusual twist of putting prosecutors and Chapman on the same side arguing for the death sentence while Chapman's court-appointed defense attorneys seek to stop the lethal injection.

"This is a defense lawyer's worst nightmare," said CrimProf Michael Mello, who is also a former lawyer for death row inmates in Florida. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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