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August 05, 2004


Len Davis may face death penalty

Yesterday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit vacated a district-court order that precluded the government from seeking the death penalty against Paul Hardy and former New Orleans police officer Len Davis. Hardy and Davis had been convicted of conspiring to kill Kim Groves, a citizen who had complained that Davis's partner pistol-whipped someone in her neighborhood. The district court had held that the government could not seek the death penalty, because the indictment failed to allege the intent required by the Federal Death Penalty Act (18 U.S.C. 3591 et seq.). The Fifth Circuit held that any deficiency in the indictment was harmless error, for two reasons: (1) The government had given Davis and Hardy specific notice of its intent to seek the death penalty. (2) The specific acts alleged in the indictment undoubtedly implied that Davis and Hardy intended to kill Groves. United States v. Davis, No. 03-30077, slip op. (5th Cir. Aug. 4, 2004).

Posted by RPW at August 5, 2004 09:54 AM
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