Langley v. Prince

Man kills 6-year-old boy near Iowa, La. in 1992. Defense: He’s mentally ill, could not have understood his actions. Trial 1: Guilty of first-degree murder. Overturned on appeal due to judge’s missteps (used race in jury-foreperson selection). Trial 2: Acquit on first-degree murder (which requires finding of intent to kill) but convict on second-degree murder (which does not). Overturned on appeal due to judge’s missteps (e.g., judge was absent during significant portions of the proceedings). Trial 3 (with a new judge): Guilty of second-degree murder, as he intended to kill the boy. Fifth Circuit: Double jeopardy. The jury in the second trial found he lacked intent. The state can charge him with some other crime that does not involve intent, but this conviction can’t stand. (Related: After the victim’s mother testified she didn’t want to see defendant put to death, prosecutors allegedly tried to have her other child taken away from her. H/t: Ethan Brown)

Tags: 2018, Double Jeopardy, Fifth Amendment, Fifth Circuit

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