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Justices dismiss La. case over trial delays

3 years 5 months 3 weeks ago April 29, 2013 Apr 29, 2013 Monday, April 29 2013 April 29, 2013 9:16 AM in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from a Louisiana man who claimed that most of a seven-year delay between his arrest and murder trial was the result of a breakdown in the state's system for paying defense lawyers in death penalty cases.

The court's conservative justices prevailed in a 5-4 vote Monday to say they should never have taken the case of Jonathan Edward Boyer, who eventually was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole. The outcome leaves his conviction and sentence in place.

The case was argued in January to address whether a state's failure to pay lawyers for indigent defendants can violate the Constitution's guarantee of a speedy trial.

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