Friday, November 05, 2004

Just Because He's a Cruel, Methodical Murderer....

It doesn't make him a bad person. Or so says the Washington State Supreme Court which just:

...overturned the death sentence of Cecil E. Davis yesterday, finding that a juror's glimpses of the defendant's ankle shackles in the Pierce County courtroom may have prejudiced the jury.

"Prejudiced"? Reading on:

In reviewing Davis' case, the majority in the 8-1 decision found the evidence too "overwhelming" to toss out Davis' conviction for aggravated first-degree murder in the slaying of his 65-year-old neighbor, Yoshiko Couch of Tacoma. But it also found that the image of Davis' shackled ankles may have given jurors a "negative inference as to [Davis'] character"....

As opposed to the testimony they'd heard, we suppose:

Davis, a career criminal, was convicted in 1998 of raping, robbing and murdering Couch, while her disabled husband slept downstairs. Couch was poisoned with a towel soaked in cleaning solvents.

Which led to this deadpan from the prosecutor who tried the case:

It didn't appear to me that there was very strong logic and reasoning behind their decision....It's frustrating.

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