Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New edition of Capital Defense Weekly is now available

Capital Defense Weekly

Leading off this edition is the Sixth Circuit's decision in  Archie Dixon v. Houk. In that decision the panel held that the police in Mr. Dixon's case improperly questioned first and warned later. As Ohio lawyer & blogger Russ Bensing notes, "[c]entral to the court’s decision was not only that the police had deliberately decided not to give warnings before the first custodial interrogation, but that the trial court, which had originally suppressed the confession, found the police weren’t telling the truth about their claim that [Mr. Dixon] had told them he’d talked to his lawyer and his lawyer had advised him to tell the police what happened.  (The state made an interlocutory appeal to the 6th District, which reversed the suppression and sent the case back for trial.)   Although the Ohio Supreme Court had found to the contrary in affirming the conviction and death sentence, the court has a point in noting that the trial judge was in the best position to make that determination, given its ability to hear and see the witnesses, and besides, no attorney in his right mind would have ever given that advice."