The Sixth Circuit just unwrapped a death sentence on grounds of arbritrariness because the contractor got life and the killer got death. Does that make sense?
Part of the analysis makes sense, I think. The contractor was found guilty of aggravated murder, but not capital murder, which required the murder-for-hire finding. But the killer (who was actually one of three killers) was convicted of murder-for-hire. How only one of four people committing the same murder could have been guilty of murder-for-hire IS inconsistent.
I don't agree with a proportionality review when the jury is getting punishment evidence that is obviously going to differ between defendants -- even if A is more culpable for the crime than B, if B has a rap sheet as tall as I am, he's going to get more time! But this was apparently guilt/innocence-type finding similar to a lesser-included offense, which is a slightly different analysis. (Sort of like convicting only one person for conspiracy. It takes two to conspire, and it takes two for a hired killing.)
The main problem, I think, is that these defendants were tried in two separate trials, so the juries obviously heard different evidence. It could have been something as simple as a key witness to the "for hire" aspect not showing up at the second trial that mean the contractor wasn't convicted of that part. I don't think it's necessarily inconsistent in that type of situation.
[This message was edited by Andrea Westerfeld on 08-02-06 at .]
Please check your private topics Mr. Stride.
"Both the majority and the Ohio Supreme Court have expressed concern over the seemingly
incongruous results from the separate trials of Getsy and Santine. I share their concern, recognizing at the same time that reasonable people can disagree over the relative moral turpitude of the instigator of an assassination on the one hand and the killer who he hired to carry out the violent act on the other. Nevertheless, I do not believe that I am empowered to answer this philosophical
question by bypassing the limitations that both Congress and the Supreme Court have placed upon
this court�s power to grant relief under the circumstances of this case.
"Perhaps some day the Supreme Court will hold that a comparison between the culpability
of a murderer and that of his codefendant is constitutionally required, and that inconsistent verdicts rising from separate trials are unconstitutional. But this is not the law of the land today, and was obviously not the �clearly established law� at the time that the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed Getsy�s conviction and sentence in 1999. For this reason, as well as the others set forth above, I do not believe that the judgment of the Ohio Supreme Court in this case is contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the United States Supreme Court. I would accordingly affirm the district court�s denial of habeas relief on all of Getsy�s claims. And
because Getsy has not alleged any facts that, if true, would entitle him to relief on his claim of
judicial bias, I do not believe that the district court abused its discretion in denying him an
I wonder if it'll go to the Supreme Court?
[This message was edited by David Newell on 08-02-06 at .]
Instead of deciding legal issues, this court now wants to decide "moral culpabilty". Wouldn't it be refreshing if the appellate court said that the shooter's sentence was apprpriate but contractman's sentence is too lightand orders the death peanlty be assessed against him. (Note: I am aware of the numerous legal theories, ideas, concepts, thoughts, etc. that would never allow this but we all can dream.)
I'm with Fred on this one. But it is not as though the majority didn't choose to toss numerous legal "theories,ideas, concepts, etc." to reach their decision; ideas like stare decisis, finality of verdicts, and respect for a jury's decision. Probably thought the jury was too much influenced by the defendant's comparison of the victim's face to a pizza slice with the cheese peeled off.
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.