ILNews

Overstreet granted stay of execution

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The man who was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Franklin College student has been granted a motion for a stay of execution. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon of the South Bend Division issued the order granting Michael Dean Overstreet's stay of execution Monday.

Overstreet, who was sentenced to death in 2000 for killing Kelly Eckart, filed the motion in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division May 9. In the motion, Michael Dean Overstreet v. Ed Buss, Superintendent Indiana State Prison, No. 3:08-CV-226-PS, Overstreet filed the stay to allow for a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Overstreet was scheduled to be executed May 30.

The order stays Overstreet's execution until Aug. 10 and notes the state may schedule another execution date unless he properly petitions and is granted another stay.

Overstreet also filed a motion for appointment of counsel, a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and a memorandum in support of his motion for stay of execution. In a separate opinion and order, Judge Simon allowed Overstreet to proceed in forma pauperis in regards to his appointment of counsel, but denied him proceeding in forma pauperis as it relates to his filing fee. The order appointed Marie F. Donnelly of Chicago as his counsel and denied appointing Missouri attorney Laurence E. Komp.

Overstreet was denied post-conviction relief, which the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed in Overstreet v. State, 877 NE.2d 144 (Ind. 2007). The high court also denied rehearing his case in February and ordered his execution for the end of May subject to a valid stay ordered by the federal courts.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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