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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v.DANIEL L. DELANEY (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 14-page opinion, Judge Posner writes:

The defendant, a federal prisoner serving a term for unarmed robbery and confined in a two-person cell in the prison’s segregation unit because of a fight he’d had with another inmate, strangled his cellmate. He was prosecuted, convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison. The single issue presented by his appeal is whether the jury should have found that he killed in “the heat of passion” and should therefore have convicted him only of voluntary manslaughter. * * *

He is arguing that he should not have been convicted of murder at all but only of voluntary manslaughter, with its 15-year maximum sentence—that no reasonable jury could have failed to find that he acted in the “heat of passion.” * * *

[The opinion concludes] But since the jury had solid grounds for finding murder rather than manslaughter, the judgment is AFFIRMED.

BAUER, Circuit Judge, concurring. I have to admit that this opinion had me in suspense until the last minute. I’m not sure it provides a clear trail for future prosecutions but I sign on because the result is in keeping with the evidence.

ILB: This tickled me.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 30, 2013 01:44 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions