Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tyson Appealing Murder Conviction

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tyson Appealing Murder Conviction

Article excerpt

TOURIST KILLINGS: Lawyer cites a dozen grounds challenging the outcome

SARASOTA

The 17-year-old convicted of murdering two British tourists whom he tried to rob is appealing his conviction and life sentence.

Shawn Tyson's public defender, Carolyn Schlemmer, names nearly a dozen grounds for the challenge. Among them:

Circuit Judge Rick De Furia's decision allowing prosecutors to present evidence that Tyson threatened people with a pistol a week before the murders of the two men.

The racial makeup of the jury panel, which included 11 white jurors, one black juror and one black alternate juror.

And prosecutorial misconduct, because prosecutors tried to hide unflattering information about the witnesses against Tyson, including drug arrests and a probation violation.

Evidence of benefits that witnesses received in exchange for their testimony, and the criminal histories of witnesses, by law must be disclosed so the defense can use it to challenge the witnesses' credibility. …

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