News Update 11.29.07
In July, Caldwell County prosecutors were asking a jury to sentence Jerry Anderson to die for the murder of his wife. This week, they dropped all charges against Anderson and declared their commitment to finding the real killer. Emily Anderson’s body was found in South Carolina ten days after her disappearance in December of 2005. Prior reporting on the Anderson trial here, here, here, and here.
In Cumberland County, Charles Triplin is standing trial for the 2003 robbery and suffocation of an elderly man. There is no forensic evidence that Triplin was at the scene, and the main witnesses against him are his co-defendants, who are linked to the scene by forensic evidence, and who have offered inconsistent testimony about what happened that night. Triplin has maintained his innocence and refused to plead guilty. His co-defendants have been rewarded for their testimony with reduced sentences. All of the defendants once faced the death penalty. If convicted, only Triplin will be ineligible for parole.
In West Virginia, a federal court has postponed sentencing for two people convicted of a 2005 murder, pending the resolution of Baze. An attorney for one defendant has also expressed concern that the race and gender of the victim played an inordinate role in the jury’s decision to vote for death, particularly in light of his client’s limited criminal history as compared to other defendants sentenced to life in the federal system. The murder was prosecuted in federal court because there is no death penalty for state crimes in West Virginia. (c/o SLAP)