Yesterday the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the assault conviction of Vernice Scott because the trial court had excluded evidence that was relevant to his claim that he acted in self-defense.
Today the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction of Damon James Naudain. The case was returned to the trial court for a new trial for one reason. According to the appellate court, the trial judge made an impermissible commnet on the trial evidence requiring reversal.
Our Portland readers have probably all heard by now of the tragic case of Trayvon Martin which has been getting much media coverage over the last several weeks. Among the more controversial aspects of the case are the accusations of racial profiling and Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which many feel is implicated in the case.
Yesterday, the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court's refusal to give Lenny Urena a self-defense instruction in his assault case. Lenny it seems was incarcerated on the morning of April 11, 2006 when he was insulted by another inmate who called Lenny "a bitch."