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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ind. Decisions - "Indiana Supreme Court affirms Wilkes' death sentence"

Lydia X. McCoy of the Evansville Courier & Press reports on the Supreme Court opinion issued this morning in the case of Wilkes v. State of Indiana (ILB entry here). Some quotes:

The Indiana Supreme Court has affirmed the murder convictions and death sentence of Daniel Ray Wilkes. * * *

After his trial was moved to Clark County, Ind., a jury found Wilkes guilty of the three murders. But the jury was unable to reach a unanimous agreement on whether Wilkes should live or die.

The 12-member panel deadlocked with 11 in favor of the death penalty and one opposing.

That left Wilkes' fate to be decided by Heldt, who sentenced him to death.

It was the first time since state law was changed in 2002 that a judge had to determine the sentence in a death-penalty case. Defense attorneys at the time said Heldt's sentence could lead to years of appeals. * * *

In their opinion, released today and written by Justice Theodore Boehm, the justices said "we cannot say that the death sentences in this case are inappropriate. The nature of the offense is a triple murder of a mother and her two children. The murders, especially of Donna and Sydne, were committed in a particularly gruesome manner. We have upheld death sentences in similar cases."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 10, 2009 12:39 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions