Curator Melissa Wolfe talks about the inspiration we can all take away from the Columbus Museum of Arts newest exhibition showcasing the work of home town hero George Bellows. George Bellows and the American Experience through January 4, 2014. This exhibition follows on the heels of a major retrospective of the artist organized by the [...]
Supreme Court Rules Murder Conviction Unconstitutional
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that the retrial and murder conviction of a Columbus woman was unconstitutional.
In 2005, Toneisha Gunnell and three other women were convicted of murder after they hit and killed a man while fleeing security guards after shoplifting from a Springfield mall.
Gunnell’s conviction was overturned over an error in jury selection.
In her second trial a judge declared a mistrial after a juror admitted researching legal terms online. In a third trial in 2009, Gunnell was convicted on murder and other charges.
Then a year later, the 2nd District Court of Appeals overturned her conviction, ruling that it amounted to double jeopardy.
On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the appeals court ruling. In a rare 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court declared the judge erred in declaring a mistrial in Gunnell’s second trial.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a court can only override a defendant’s objection to a mistrial, as Gunnell had done, if it’s absolutely necessary. O’Connor wrote that the judge speculated about the juror’s intent and did not establish whether the research created bias.