US Supreme Court rejects UD murder case

    The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear arguments from state lawyers that convicted murderer James Cooke should not get a new trial.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal from the state of Delaware.  Lawyers for the state wanted the high court to overturn a decision by the Delaware Supreme Court in the murder conviction of James Cooke.

    Cooke was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2005 murder of University of Delaware student Lindsey Bonistall.  But, in a split decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that Cooke’s right to due process and counsel were violated.  That’s because Cooke’s lawyers argued that he was “guilty but mentally ill”, even though Cooke maintained that he was “not guilty.”  The state Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court decision and ordered a new trial.

    The U.S. Supreme Court decision to send the case back to Delaware will likely mean another trial for Cooke.  He was originally found guilty of raping and murdering the 20-year-old student by unanimous jury decision in March of 2007.

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