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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ind. Decisions - More on: Supreme Court issues 43-page opinion affirming post-conviction court’s denial of relief

More on the Indiana Supreme Court's decision earlier today in John Stephenson v. State of Indiana (see ILB entry here). Bryan Corbin of the Evansville Courier & Press writes this afternoon in a story titled "Indiana Supreme Court upholds Warrick death sentence":

The appeal of death-row inmate John Matthew Stephenson of Warrick County was rejected today by the Indiana Supreme Court.

In a 43-page decision, the state's highest court today denied Stephenson's petition for post-conviction relief. The unanimous decision affirmed an earlier decision by Warrick Superior Court Judge Robert Aylsworth.

A decade ago, Stephenson was convicted in the March, 28, 1996, slayings of Brandy Southard, 21, John "Jay" Tyler, 29, and Kathy Tyler, 29. The jury found Stephenson guilty of three murders and he was sentenced to death.

Stephenson's trial lasted eight months and is believed to be the longest and most expensive trial in Indiana up to that time.

Among the nine issues Stephenson's appellate attorneys raised was the fact that some jurors knew that Stephenson was made to wear a stun-belt restraint device during his trial. The supreme court found that was not grounds to reverse Stephenson's conviction or death sentence.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 26, 2007 04:30 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions