アンソニー・ジェームズは、9月に殺人と武器のカウントで有罪判決を受けました 2011 48歳のオードリー・タンクスリーの殺害, 当局は誰が刺されたと言った 94 プレーンフィールドの家での時間. James asserted that Tanksley was the aggressor during an argument, but jurors convicted him after deliberating for just 45 分.
But an appeals court Thursday overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial, saying a Union County prosecutor misstated New Jersey’s law on self-defense and the trial judge compounded the error while instructing jurors.
Prosecutors argued that the force James used was not reasonable, and the law required people not to respond to a minor attack with deadly force but to retreat if possible. The judge also said James had a duty to retreat before using deadly force if he was able to do so safely.
The appellate court, しかしながら, said state lawmakers in 1999 eliminated a requirement to retreat in one’s home, a change prompted by concern for victims of domestic violence who attempt to defend themselves from attacks in their own homes. The judge’s instruction “imposed a duty” on James to retreat “where none existed,” と言いました.
The appeals court acknowledged what it called a “よろめく” number of stab wounds on the victim and said it was not expressing an opinion on the credibility of a self-defense claim in the case. But jurors received incorrect instructions and a new jury needs to hear the argument, the court said.
The county prosecutor’s office declined comment on the decision. The state public defender’s office, which argued the appeal, hailed it as underscoring “the necessity for legally correct and understandable jury instructions.”
James had been sentenced to 60 years with a minimum term of more than 50 years before he would be eligible for parole.