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Heated Debate in Blagojevich Jury Room:  Sarah Ostman and Rummana Hussain of the Chicago Sun-Times have this story about tensions in the jury room during former Governor Rod Blagojevich's trial.  The jury foreman stated that deliberations were contentious from the get-go.  Another juror explained that many of them were overwhelmed by the amount of evidence presented and frustrated by the government's seemingly-illogical presentation of the case.  The jurors focused their deliberations on the most serious charges - those related to the former governor's alleged attempt to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat - but ended deadlocked due to one holdout juror.  If the feds decide to retry the case, the jury foreman recommends that they focus more on these charges and simplify the rest.

Parole Board Denies Clemency for Ohio Death Row Inmate:  The Dayton Daily News (OH) reports that the state's parole board this morning unanimously rejected a clemency plea from Kevin Keith, who is scheduled for execution next month.  In 1994, Keith shot to death 24-year-old Marichell Chatman, her 4-year-old daughter, and her 39-year-old aunt.  Two other children were also wounded during the attack.  Chatman's brother was an undercover police informant, who had assisted police weeks earlier in a drug raid leading to Keith's arrest.  In his appeal for clemency, Keith, with support from several innocence projects, argued another suspect was the killer and that Keith had a strong alibi.  The board was not persuaded, claiming no evidence was presented to it that would alter the outcome of the trial.  Now, Keith's fate rests in the hands of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, who has the final word on Keith's scheduled execution. 

Reversed Murder Convictions Coast-to-Coast:  A California appeals court yesterday reduced the second degree murder conviction of Seth Cravens to manslaughter, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.  In May 2007, Cravens and several other men dubbed the "Bird Rock Bandits" were involved in an altercation with victim Emery Kauanui Jr.  Cravens punched Kauanui once in the head, causing him fall on the pavement and suffer a fatal skull fracture.  The court reduced the conviction, finding the evidence did not support a finding of the requisite mental state for murder.  In Massachusetts, the state's high court ordered a new trial today for Eric Durand, convicted of first-degree murder in 2006, reports by the Boston Globe.  In 2003, Durand beat to death his girlfriend's 4-year-old son, throwing a toy shark at him as punishment and eventually delivering a fatal blow to the boy's stomach.  At trial, the medical examiner testifying as to the boy's autopsy report was not the medical examiner who had prepared it.  The court found this to be a violation of Durand's right to confrontation and reversed.

2 Comments

Nice article.It is very informative.Keep updating.You are doing a nice job.

Those stories are both interesting and frightening. But nevertheless our society is not perfect, so we have to find ways to prevent things like that. Thank you for he article.

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