Saturday, July 28, 2007

Defendant convicted of murder in Douglas County District Court goes to Nebraska Supreme Court for a third time but comes away empty handed. State v. Harris, S-06-062, 274 Neb. 40 The defendant in his post-conviction appeal argued that the State violated his constitutional rights by its late offer of the defendants proffer statement and the direct testimony of the Omaha Police detective who had interviewed the defendant that tended to show that the defendant personally knew the murder victim by his nickname "Homicide." Nebraska supreme court rules , with retired judge Hannon dissenting, no prejudicial constitutional error occurred even if the court should not have admitted detective's statements that contradicted the defendant's contention that he did not know the victim, it was harmless. "in a post-conviction proceeding the defendant must meet show the verdict would reasonably likely have been different absent the errors. We agree (with the trial court that no prejudice occurred). In light of the other evidence presented at trial, including the testimony of Hicks and three witnesses who stated that Harris had admitted to the crime, we conclude that Harris has failed to meet his burden on post-conviction to prove that the claimed constitutional errors relating to the Cass report were prejudicial.

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