A Connecticut man may not have to serve a 60-year prison sentence after his conviction for murder was overturned by the Appellate Court. The man was accused of shooting another man outside of a nightclub in 2008 and was convicted and sentenced. According to reports, the incident happened in the early morning hours of April 27, 2008. The man's first trial was declared a mistrial after the jury was locked at a 6-6 verdict. The second trial ended with a conviction and the 60-year prison sentence.
The man's lawyer appealed on the grounds that the defense had not been given ample opportunity to cross-examine the officers who were put on the stand as witnesses for the prosecution. The appeal filing claimed that the judge sustained many of the prosecution's objections during the defense cross-examination, keeping the defense from being able to thoroughly question the witnesses.
The Appellate Court agreed and ordered the conviction to be overturned. Whether or not the man will be have another trial will depend on whether or not the state decides to request that the Appellate Court's ruling by certified. At the time of reports, the man was still being held in prison, but it is possible that a bail may be set that, if paid, could allow the man to leave the facility pending the new trial.
A criminal defense attorney's job is not always done once the verdict and sentence are handed down. In some cases, an appeal may be successful in getting the defendant a new trial if there is evidence that the person's rights were not upheld by the judicial system previously.
Source: SFGate, "Murder conviction in New Haven killing overturned" Aug. 12, 2014