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. Is it possible to amend an order for child support due to false paternity?

  2. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  3. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  4. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  5. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

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