After a mistrial, a conviction and a successful appeal for a new trial, a New York man is behind bars for good. For nearly three decades, a fatal shooting left Atlantic City police puzzled. But in 2002, authorities finally located a suspect — New York City resident Brian Wilson. After a long and arduous courtroom saga, Wilson was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
When someone loses his or her life, the police and the public are eager to place blame. Because there is no statute of limitations on murder, charges can be brought after a few days or after a few decades.
Murder is defined as an act which is intended to cause the death of another person, and actually causes death to the intended person or a third party. For murder in the first degree, the crime must meet an additional factor, including:
The killing of a police officer, peace officer or first responder in the line of duty
The killing of a witness to prevent his or her testimony
The killing of a judge
A death resulting from the commission of another felony
Murder in the first degree is a class A-I felony punishable by life imprisonment.
While a murder trial may be daunting, it’s important to understand that the first verdict may not be the last. If you think there were errors in the case, you can appeal to a higher court to review the initial proceedings. The appellate court decides if the situation warrants relief, such as a new trial, dismissal of charges or a reduced sentence. However, you must file your notice of appeal within 30 days after the sentence to preserve your right to appeal. If the appellate court decision is unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals or even the Supreme Court of the United States.
After a tragic event which results in death, the police want to hold someone responsible.