Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Supreme Court Considers Whether to Overturn Death Sentence

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on an interesting death penalty case. The case is Cone v. Bell, 07-1114. Cory Bradford Cone was convicted of First Degree Murder in Tennessee in 1984 and sentenced to death. Cone admits that he killed an elderly couple in a robbery in Memphis. However, Cone claimed that he was legally insane because he was in a drug induced psycotic state and suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome due to his military service in Vietnam. The prosecutor ridiculed Cone's claim at trial and he was convicted and sentenced to death. After the trial, it was discovered that the prosecutor withheld evidence from the defense indicating that state and federal law informant officials had internal communications describing Cone as a heavy drug user as well as witness statements that bolstered Cone's defense that he was legally insane at the time of the crime.

Reporters inside today's oral arguments report that several of the Justice's became angry with the prosecutor when the state claimed that they had no duty to turn over this evidence to the defense. The Court will issue an opinion on this case in several months. We will keep you updated when the opinion is released.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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