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Jun 30, 1999

Court of Appeal upholds Smith’s death sentence

The Court of Appeal today upheld the conviction and death sentence of Cleon “Tush” Smith after they dismissed the appeal filed by his attorney Simeon Sampson. Smith was convicted of shooting Ainsworth “Pie” Wagner on July 27th, 1996 on Mayflower Street. Witnesses testified that Smith got off his bike, had an argument with Wagner and then shot him and fled down the street. The grounds for the appeal were that the jury was not properly informed that they could have considered the defense of “self defense” in making their decision. However, the three man Court of Appeal ruled that the jury clearly understood the burden of proof lay with the prosecution and that they could not convict if they had any doubts as to the accused’s guilt. The court ruled that there was no substantial miscarriage of justice and that the conviction and sentence would stand.

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