Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gavin Scott gets life

Jeff Wicks and Tim Frieden won relief today for Gavin Scott, who was facing a possible death sentence for a conviction of capital murder. Mr. Scott had previously been sentenced to death (twice actually), but in Mr. Scott's direct appeal, the KSC reversed Mr. Scott's most recent death sentence based on erroneous jury instructions relating to mitigating evidence (blogged about here). The KSC also reversed Mr. Scott's separate first-degree murder conviction because it was multiplicitous with his capital murder conviction under K.S.A. 21-3107(2)(d) (Furse) (prohibiting convictions of lesser offenses that are "necessarily proved" by the greater offense). Following the appeal, Mr. Scott was set to face another possible death sentence on the remaining capital murder conviction, which had been affirmed.

In a hearing this afternoon, the defense asked the district court to reinstate the jury's convictions on two counts of first-degree murder, which would do away with the capital murder conviction and alleviate the multiplicity problem. The court agreed with the defense's request and sentenced Mr. Scott to two "Hard-40" life sentences. The Wichita Eagles's coverage of the case can be found here and here.

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