AL Appeals Court Vacates Death Penalty Conviction : Pre-Trial Publicity
The Alabama Criminal Appeals Court has reversed the conviction and death sentence of a Vietnamese immigrant who allegedly killed his four children by throwing them off a bridge, citing the trial court's rejection of a motion to change venue due to pre-trial publicity. The 90 page opinion is here.
"It is clear that publicity surrounding the murders completely saturated the Mobile community in 2008. A great deal of that publicity was prejudicial... Luong was denied his constitutional right to an impartial jury. Therefore, we must reverse Luong's convictions and sentence of death and remand this case for a new trial."
The Court also ruled the trial judge erred by refusing to allow the defense to individually question the jurors, who had filled out questionnaires, on what they had heard about the case. [More...]
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