Death Penalty

7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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Justices allow new hearings in North Carolina capital cases

June 29, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has left in place lower court rulings ordering hearings over jurors in two North Carolina death penalty trials who reached beyond the jury room for biblical references to help their deliberations.
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AG may appeal death penalty reversal in deputy’s slaying

June 3, 2015
IL Staff
The state is considering whether it will appeal a federal court ruling Tuesday that reversed the death penalty imposed on a man convicted of killing a Morgan County deputy sheriff nearly 14 years ago.
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Death sentence reversed in 2001 slaying of Morgan deputy

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
The death sentence imposed on a man for the killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes in 2001 has been reversed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Boston Marathon bomber to be sentenced June 24

May 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced to death on June 24.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

May 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death Friday for the Boston Marathon bombing, sweeping aside pleas that he was just a "kid" who fell under the influence of his fanatical older brother.
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Split 7th Circuit allows death penalty challenge asserting intellectual disability

May 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A killer sentenced in Texas and awaiting execution on federal death row in Terre Haute will be allowed to proceed with efforts to present new evidence of intellectual disability that would make him ineligible for capital punishment, a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc review determined in a 6-5 opinion.
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Death penalty sought in suspected serial killings

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Prosecutors in Crown Point are seeking the death penalty against a Gary man charged in the slayings of two women and suspected in the deaths of five others.
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High court to hear Kansas plea to reinstate death sentences

March 30, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Monday to hear Kansas' appeal to reinstate death sentences for two brothers in the fatal shootings of four people and for another man convicted of killing a couple.
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Tsarnaev's lawyer admits client carried out Boston bombing

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went on trial for his life Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing with his own lawyer bluntly telling the jury he committed the crime. But she argued that he had fallen under the influence of his older brother.
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Justices affirm death penalty for man who killed 2 children

February 18, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh County man convicted of the murders of his girlfriend’s eight- and five-year-old children after setting fire to hishome in 2010 will remain on death row. The Indiana Supreme Court declined to reverse his convictions or revise his sentence.
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Valparaiso Law Dean Andrea Lyon built a career battling the death penalty

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Lyon remains a passionate, unwavering opponent of capital punishment. Her career path has turned from the courtroom to education. The dean of Valparaiso University Law School maintains a strong connection to death penalty work.
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'Dead Man Walking' author calls for judicial reform

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Sister Helen Prejean, at a recent talk at Valparaiso University, called the death penalty process "unjust."
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Indiana Senate backs death penalty for beheading crimes

January 23, 2015
 Associated Press
A bill making intentionally decapitating someone a crime eligible for the death penalty has been approved by the Indiana Senate.
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Author and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean calls for judicial reform

January 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When she became pen pals with an inmate on Louisiana’s death row, Sister Helen Prejean said she did not know much about the law or the U.S. Constitution. She was not aware of constitutional protections or how the Supreme Court of the United States was interpreting them.
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Senate panel passes bill for harsher beheading penalties

January 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Decapitation soon could be punishable by death in Indiana. The state Senate Criminal Law Committee unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for beheadings.
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Competency could be key for death penalty in Indiana case

January 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana law experts say the mental health of a northwestern Indiana man charged with strangling two women and suspected of killing five others could complicate the case but shouldn't prevent the state from seeking the death penalty.
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Commentary: Lawyer recounts work on Resnover death penalty case

December 31, 2014
Attorney David Hurley writes about his work for the state on the Gregory Resnover execution. Resnover was put to death by electrocution in 1994.
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Prosecutor to seek death penalty for mutilator

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A prosecutor intends to seek the death penalty for a southern Indiana man who has confessed to fatally stabbing his girlfriend and mutilating her body, including cooking and eating some of her organs.
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State declines to appeal Overstreet competency ruling

December 9, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Tuesday it will not appeal a special judge’s ruling that a man on death row is not competent and therefore cannot be executed.
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Judge rules man on death row not competent to be executed

November 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A special judge in Johnson County has ruled that Michael Dean Overstreet is not currently competent to be executed.
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7th Circuit will hear killer’s appeal en banc

October 31, 2014
IL Staff
The full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether an Arkansas man on death row should die for killing a Texas woman nearly 20 years ago. The judges decided Wednesday to grant Bruce Carneil Webster’s petition for rehearing en banc.
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Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Death penalty sought in shooting death of Gary cop

September 17, 2014
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana prosecutor has notified the court he plans to seek the death penalty for a man charged with murder in the shooting death of a Gary police officer.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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