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Tuesday
Nov272012

NEWS: Supreme Court Delays Decision On C-Murder’s (@iamcmurder) Fate?

Corey Miller, the rapper also known as C-Murder who is seeking to overturn his conviction for the 2002 killing of a 16-year-old fan outside a Harvey nightclub, will have to wait a little longer to learn if the U.S. Supreme Court will take his case. A ruling had been expected Monday, but the case was not on a long list of cases that the High Court decided either to schedule for oral arguments, or reject without additional consideration. 

The court gave no explanation for the delay, but it could be for a range of reasons. It's possible the judges didn't deal with the case as scheduled at its Nov. 20 conference, or that a justice or justices asked for more time to consider the merits of his appeal.

Miller, who has maintained his innocence, is challenging Louisiana law that allowed him to be convicted even though the jury didn't reach a unanimous verdict.

Ten of the 12 jurors found him guilty. Only in Louisiana and Oregon are non-unanimous verdicts enough to convict a defendant.

If the Supreme Court rules the non-unanimous verdict unconstitutional, it could affect other cases still under appeal that were decided by votes of 11-1 or 10-2.

Miller's lawyers argued that a non-unanimous jury is inconsistent with the 6th and 14th amendments' protections for criminal defendants.

In their filing, his attorneys said that one the jurors who had voted to convict Miller told the judge she did so under duress. After she reported her concerns, the judge ordered the jury to continue deliberating, and 2½ hours later, it returned with the original 10-2 vote for conviction.

Miller's attorneys said the judge sent the message that the only way for jurors to finish up with the case was to return with a verdict, putting undue pressure on them to obtain the required 10 affirmative votes needed for conviction.

It takes votes by four of the nine Supreme Court justices for the High Court to take an appeal. It does so for less than two percent of the appeals filed annually.

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