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Tag Archives: murder-for-hire

Criminal Practice – Death Penalty Upheld in Murder-for-Hire Case (access required)

U.S. v. Runyon The 4th Circuit upholds defendant’s conviction and capital sentence for conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, based on his fatal shooting of a Naval officer in 2007 as a contract killing arranged by the officer’s wife and her paramour; however, the panel splits on whether it was error for the trial judge to admit an interrogation videotape in which police appealed to defendant’s “honor” as an Asian-American man and referred to his Christian duty to repent his sins.

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Criminal Practice – Murder-for-Hire – Evidence – Prior Shooting – Harmless Error (access required)

U.S. v. Byers Even assuming the district court erred in allowing testimony about defendant's alleged prior shooting of another man, or testimony from the later murder victim's girlfriend, the 4th Circuit says any errors were harmless and did not unfairly affect the trial of two codefendants in this murder-for-hire case involving the fatal shooting of a witness to prevent him from testifying against one of the codefendants in a state murder trial.

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