Last year, real-estate developer and art collector Ron Pizzuti opened the doors to the Pizzuti Collection in the Short North, a venue at which to showcase his vast art collection. After purchasing his first piece of art in 1972, he has since amassed more than 1,500 works by artists ranging from Frank Stella to Ai [...]
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.
Gunnellâ€™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 Gunnellâ€™s second trial.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Maureen Oâ€™Connor wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled a court can only override a defendantâ€™s objection to a mistrial, as Gunnell had done, if itâ€™s absolutely necessary. Oâ€™Connor wrote that the judge speculated about the jurorâ€™s intent and did not establish whether the research created bias.