Regarding the Death Penalty...

I am sure that there have been cases that were up for the Death Penalty that have been reversed in appelate court, but I am not aware of which cases they were. Have there been any recent examples of this?
Also, have there actually been cases of “the Phone” ringing in the accused’s cell minutes before the final event, or is that only in the movies?

Lots of death sentences have been commuted for various reasons. Just recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned over 100 death sentences, ruling that capital punishment must be decided by juries, not judges.

Well, it’s an interesting article, but I was referring more to cases that were decided by juries and then re-decided by other juries. Since the death penalty is suposedly more costly than paying for someone’s life jail sentence, I wondered just how effective all of these putative appeals actually are. I would gladly look this info up for myself, but I have no idea where I would do so. Thanks for your response, though…

Cases don’t get re-decided by juries. Apellate courts review the original case and decide to either uphold the original sentence or overturn or modify the existing sentence, based upon the arguments they hear.

Ah, you have enlightened me. But it just sounds like one more attempt by those opposed to this type of punishment to waylay the process.

"Thomas also wrote, 'By deciding that judges are not constitutionally permitted to decide whether defendants are eligible for the death penalty, the Supreme Court altered the fundamental bedrock principles applicable to capital murder trials'. "  

I rest my case.
They have certainly succeeded in making a holy mess of things, and one that would not be cost effective to resolve. Hmmmm, funny thing about that. Thank you for your input.

Overturned convictions are not infrequently followed by a retrial, in which case (heh) the case may get re-decided by a jury. And yes, there are instances of defendants sentenced to death being acquitted at retrial.

Larry Osbourne

Adolph Munson, Gregory R. Wilhoit, and Richard Neal Jones in Oklahoma

You can find more by putting “death penalty” acquitted at retrial into Google.

Please note that I offer no opinion as to whether these defendants actually did it.

I have a related question. Are there many cases where people who were given a life sentence had their cases reversed? Is there someplace with lists or statistics about that?

I’m not aware of anyone that keeps statistics, but you might be interested in taking a look at which is a group that’s attempting to free falsely convicted people with new evidence, usually DNA – there are a lot of them.


knock knock, when Governor Ryan of Illinois commuted all the pending death sentences in that state earlier this year, he mentioned that nearly half of all the convictions for capital murder since the re-imposition of the death penalty had reversed on appeal:

See: “I will not stand for it.” Speech at Northwestern University College of Law - Illinois Governor George Ryan, 11 January 2003. At the time, I believe I heard commentators say that rate was not unusual for other states as well, but I don’t have a cite for it.