Veteran journalist Carl Hoffman believes he’s solved one of the great mysteries of the 20th century. In 1961 at the age of 23, Michael Rockefeller – son of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and a member of one of the richest and most powerful families in America ¬– travelled to remote New Guinea in search of primitive art for his father’s new museum.
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.