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News Scan

Ohio Murderer's Appeal Denied:  The U.S. Supreme Court denied review of Ohio murderer Anthony Sowell's appeal Monday.  Eric Heisig of Cleveland.com reports that Sowell was sentenced to death for raping and murdering eleven women and burying their bodies around his home.  In a 2011 story, Leila Atassi reported that a jury of seven women and five men deliberated seven hours before unanimously voting for a death sentence.  After the sentencing, one juror told reporters that Sowell had winked at her during the hearing.  At trial, defense attorneys claimed that Sowell was a victim of childhood abuse suffering with post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cognitive dysfunction, and psychosis, which reduced his responsibility for killing the eleven women and attempting to kill three others who survived.  On appeal, his lawyers argued that his sentence was invalid because jurors did not get to hear about Sowell's offer to plead guilty to avoid a death sentence.

PA Court Overturns Murderer's Sentence:  A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania has ruled that a man who committed robbery/murder when he was 16 was improperly sentenced to life in prison without parole (LWOP) under the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama.  Jocelyn Brumbaugh of the Tribune Democrat reports that Deauntay Moye was convicted of the January 2015 murder of 21-year-old Stephanie Waters after stealing about $250 worth of marijuana from her.  After shooting Waters in the neck and killing her dog, Moye and an accomplice drove around in her car smoking pot, while she slowly died in the back seat.  The trial judge determined that Moye was the leader and fired the shot that killed the Waters.  Last June, the PA Supreme Court held that only the most irredeemable juveniles should receive LWOP.  Before the Superior Court, Moye's attorneys argued that he should receive a shorter sentence because his age made him more impulsive and vulnerable to family and peer pressure.

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