Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
D.C.
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Mass.
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
N.Carolina
N.Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
S.Carolina
S.Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
W.Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Law Firm Website Design Companies : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Court reinstates Wash. murder conviction

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2009/01/21 16:32

The Supreme Court has reinstated the murder conviction of the driver in a gang-related, drive-by shooting that horrified Seattle in 1994.

By a 6-3 vote, the court on Wednesday reversed a federal appeals court that had thrown out the second-degree murder conviction of Cesar Sarausad II.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned the conviction because of unclear jury instructions. But the high court, in a majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, said there was "no evidence of ultimate juror confusion."

"Rather, the jury simply reached a unanimous decision that the state had proved Sarausad's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Thomas wrote.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice David Souter said an uncertain instruction from the trial judge merged with a "confounding prosecutorial argument" that included a "clearly erroneous statement of law."

"In these circumstances, jury confusion is all but inevitable and jury error the reasonable likelihood," wrote Souter, who was joined in his opinion by Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sarausad was convicted for his role as the driver in the shooting that killed a teenage girl outside a Seattle high school.

Sarausad was a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Washington at the time of the shooting. He drove the car from which Brian Ronquillo shot and killed 16-year-old Melissa Fernandes. She had nothing to do with the gang rivalry that led to the shooting.

Ronquillo was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 52 years in prison. Sarausad got a 27-year sentence.

Sarausad admitted being the driver but denied knowing that Ronquillo had a gun, much less that he was planning to kill anyone.

The jury instructions at issue concerned whether, to be convicted of second-degree murder, Sarausad had to know that Ronquillo intended to use a gun and that someone could die as a result.


Legal News | Breaking News | Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Law Firm Web Design by Law Promo

ⓒ Breaking Legal News. All Rights Reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by BLN as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case.
   More Legal News
   Legal Spotlight
   Exclusive Commentaries
   Attorney & Blog - Blog Watch
   Law Firm News  1  2  3  4  5  6 
   Lawyer & Law Firm Links
San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
San Francisco Copyright Lawyer
www.onulawfirm.com
Chicago Business Lawyer
Cook County Contract Law
www.rothlawgroup.com
Canton Criminal Lawyer
Canton DUI lawyer
www.cantoncriminalattorney.com
Surry County Criminal Defense Lawyers
Yadkin County Family Law Attorneys
www.dirussolaw.com
Oregon DUI Law Attorney
Eugene DUI Lawyer. Criminal Defense Law
www.mjmlawoffice.com
Palm Beach Construction Law Attorney
Florida Construction Law
Wellington Construction Law
palmbeachconstructionlaw.org
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Wrongful Death Attorneys Houston
Houston Wrongful Death
New York Adoption Lawyers
New York Foster Care Lawyers
Adoption Pre-Certification
www.lawrsm.com
Indianapolis personal injury lawyer
Brain injury lawyer Indianapolis
www.rwp-law.com
Eugene Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy Attorney Eugene
willamettevalleybankruptcy.com
   More Legal News  1  2  3  4  5  6
   Legal News Links
  Click The Law
  Daily Bar News
  The Legal Voice
  The Legal Report
  Legal News Post
  Crisis Legal News
  Legal News Journal
  Law Firm Logos
  Eugene Criminal Defense Law
  Attorney Web Design
  Simple Lawyer Web Design
  Law Firm Directory