Murder Conviction Overturned After Man Was Sentenced to 50 Years

The criminal justice system is designed to ensure that people accused of crimes receive a fair trial. The system has many checks and balances in place to do just that. But sometimes, the system doesn’t work as it should. For this reason, individuals convicted of crimes can appeal a ruling. If an appeals court grants the appeal, it will consider any alleged mistakes or errors that were made in the original case, including cases involving weapons crimes.

A recent decision by an appeals court overturned the murder conviction of a man accused of taking a gun and shooting another man to death. The man was originally convicted of first-degree murder in 2010, which led to a prison sentence of 50 years.

The man’s attorney asked the appeals court to reconsider the case. The court originally upheld the guilty verdict, though it reduced the crime from first- to second-degree murder.

Interestingly, the man’s attorney asked for a reconsideration of the case based on the argument that the prosecutors committed highly prejudicial misconduct. Apparently, the prosecutor suggested during the trial that a witness had been threatened by the defendant, even though no evidence supporting that notion was presented. The court agreed with that argument and overturned the man’s conviction. The government now must decide whether they will ask the state Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.

The case will be interesting to watch, as a man convicted of a murder involving a weapon seeks to overturn the conviction. If you are accused of a crime in DuPage or Cook County and it involves a weapon, know that even if you are found guilty, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Murder conviction overturned for Oakland rapper, reality TV contestant,” Jan. 9, 2014