Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Waddington v. Sarausad

Case involves a petition for habeas corpus challenging second-degree murder and two attempted second-degree murder convictions. Sarausad was convicted for these crimes as a result of having driven the car from which a drive by shooting. However, later interviews with the jury found that jurors were confused about the standard of liability necessary to prove accomplice liability. On appeal, this motion for habeas was granted because there was insufficient evidence to convict, and secondly that the jury’s instructions unconstitutionally relieved State of their burden of proof. The State appealed this decision and Sarausad cross-appealed alleging that the court erred in allowing for a retrial and not finding double jeopardy to have attached. On appeal the 9th Circuit court of appeals held that there was in fact sufficient evidence to convict Sarausad, but that vague jury instructions did impermissibly shift burden of proof. The court denied to attach double jeopardy, but defendant was released pending the State’s retrial of him in a reasonable time period.



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