Court Watch - POSTED: 2017/02/23 16:28
Indiana officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a death penalty case stemming from a 1998 triple homicide in Mishawaka.
Wayne Kubsch, 49, was twice convicted of three counts of murder and sentenced to death for the brutal killings of his wife, Beth Kubsch, her ex-husband, Rick Milewski, and her 10-year-old son, Aaron Milewski, the South Bend Tribune reported.
A series of appeals failed, but a federal appeals court reversed the convictions in September, ruling that Kubsch's second trial in 2005 violated his right to a defense because the court barred evidence that might have cast doubt on his guilt.
That evidence was a videotaped statement by a young girl who seemed to undermine the alleged timeline of the incident in her interview with police four days after the killings. She later said she didn't remember making the statement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals ordered Indiana officials to release Kubsch or give him another trial.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill's office filed a petition this week that asks the Supreme Court to intervene, arguing that the appeals court misinterpreted the law. Officials from the attorney general's office said in the petition that previous Supreme Court decisions allowed for state trial courts to bar such recorded statements from evidence if the person who made the statement can't vouch for its reliability.
The petition asks the Supreme Court to possibly hand down a "summary reversal" of the lower appellate court's decision without accepting oral arguments or written briefs on the case.