Articles

Southern District finds ‘immediate need’ to remove, amend death penalty rule

The Indiana Southern District Court determined there was an immediate need to delete Local Criminal Rule 6-1 ­– Petitions Under 28 U.S.C. Section 2254 or 2255 in Cases Involving a Sentence of Capital Punishment, according to a Monday notice. In response, the rule was replaced with the adoption of Local Criminal Rule 38-2 – Cases Challenging the Conviction and/or Sentence Where a Sentence of Death Has Been Imposed.  

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7th Circuit rules against inmate’s FOIA requests in triple-murder

A Southern District Court judge’s order that the federal government disclose personal information stemming from a triple murder it had previously refused to turn over has been reversed. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that public interest does not support the information’s disclosure, simultaneously affirming that certain documents were protected by an exception of the Freedom of Information Act.

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Man withdraws effort challenging conviction in Gary officer’s death

A man who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for fatally shooting a northwestern Indiana police officer in 2014 has withdrawn his effort to challenge his conviction. Carl Le’Ellis Blount filed a petition last year alleging Lake County prosecutors threatened him to get him to plead guilty to murder in the shooting death of Gary Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield, but he asked to withdraw his petition in April.

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Supreme Court set for case on racial bias in jury selection

Curtis Flowers has been jailed in Mississippi for 22 years, even as prosecutors couldn’t get a murder conviction against him to stick through five trials. This week, the Supreme Court will consider whether his conviction and death sentence in a sixth trial should stand or be overturned for a familiar reason: because prosecutors improperly kept African-Americans off the jury.

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