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Death Sentence Overturned for Man Who Didn’t Pull the Trigger

Map of Guernsey County, Ohio, United States wi...

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On Thursday, a federal appeals court overturned the death sentence given to John David Stumpf for a 1984 murder in Guernsey County.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Stumpf released unless the state gives him a new sentencing hearing within 90 days. The court said prosecutors violated Stumpf’s due process rights when they left the impression that he was the principal offender, when in fact another man was the triggerman. Nonetheless, Stumpf pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to death.

The Sixth Circuit had previously overturned the conviction and death sentence, but the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the murder conviction in 2005.

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