Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Chief Judge Jones grants new hearing in the Winchester capital murder case

In an opinion of 162 pages, Chief Judge Jones of the W.D. Va. sustained one of the grounds on which convicted murderer Edward Bell based his petition for habeas relief, concluding that the petitioner is entitled to a hearing on the issue of the sufficiency of his counsel's efforts to introduce mitigating facts in the sentencing phase of his trial for the shooting of a police officer in 1999.

The Winchester paper has this article on the case. The article explains: "If Jones decides that Bell’s original defense attorneys acted properly, a new execution date could be set. However, if the judge determines that Fischel and Williams failed to present relevant evidence, Bell would be entitled to a new sentencing hearing in front of a jury."

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