ILNews

SCOTUS denies Evansville death penalty case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The nation's highest court won't review the case of an Evansville death row inmate who'd questioned the requirement he wear a stun belt during his eight-month capital trial for murdering three people in 1996.

In a list of certiorari denials released today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it wouldn't review John Stephenson v. Indiana, No. 07-8237. He'd filed a petition for review in December, and justices decided at a private conference April 11 not to take the case.

The denial comes almost a year after the Indiana Supreme Court issued a 43-page decision on Stephenson v. State, No. 87S00-0106-PD-285, which affirmed a post-conviction court's denial of relief for John Stephenson, who was sentenced to die for crimes committed more than a decade ago. He was sentenced to death for convictions of burglary, theft, and murder of John "Jay" Tyler, his wife, Kathy Tyler, and Brandy Southard.

Indiana's justices had affirmed the convictions and death sentence in 2001, but the ruling last year focused on how Stephenson was forced to wear a stun belt in the jury's presence. The court decided his trial and counsel were effective and his due process and fair trial rights weren't violated. The Indiana justices denied a rehearing in September.
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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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