News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Greater Akron Chamber

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime

Should an Ohio man be tried for the sixth time for murder?
Ohio Supreme Court takes up questions that range from questions of timing to questions of U.S. constitutional protections

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
The case of an Austintown man argued before the Ohio Supreme Court ranged from issues of constitutional protections to those of timing.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The state of Ohio’s attorneys ran into a tough audience today in arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court that an Austintown man should be tried for the sixth time for murder. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges call ‘an unusual case.’
LISTEN: Double jeopardy or the state doing a thorough job?

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:36)

Christopher Anderson was locked up on Aug. 22, 2002, charged with strangling Amber Zurcher to death. Since then, he’s been put on trial five times. Twice, the case ended in mistrials, twice in hung juries and once, his conviction was overturned on appeal.

When the state set a sixth trial date in 2011, Anderson asked the judge to throw the case out, saying the state is unconstitutionally trying him again and again on the same charges.

The judge refused, and Anderson appealed.

The arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court now hinge on two points: Whether a sixth trial is fair and constitutional, and whether the appeals judges should even be considering the case in the first place.

Ralph Rivera – representing the state – focused on the second argument. He told the justices that – based on state law – Anderson has no right to appeal until after he goes all the way through a sixth trial.

Let the system play out
Rivera ran into a skeptic in, among others, Justice William O’Neill.

“It just seems to me you’re asking this court to authorize the state of Ohio to say, ‘Trust us, we won’t do this unnecessarily and it can be cleaned up in the appellate process,'" said the judge. "But the reality is, you can’t give this person that time back, can you?"

Rivera acknowledged, “No, in that sense you can’t give him the time back," but then he said those concerns are based on believing Anderson's "arguments are meritorious at the end.”

Rivera maintained that only after a trial can Anderson argue there should not have been a trial, and that he might not win that argument.

Rivera maintained that only after a trial can Anderson argue there should NOT have been a trial.

How many trials are enough?
Anderson’s attorney John Juhasz says that strains constitutional protections of due process and against double jeopardy. He ran into his own skeptic in Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’connor.

"Five times already, Christopher Anderson has suffered the anxiety, the expense, the personal strain of risking a conviction for an offence for which he says he’s innocent," said Juhasz.

Then his own skeptic, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor interrupted. “But these trials were legitimately declared not to be trials because of the nature of the outcome. A hung jury, a reversal by the court of appeals with a remand for a retrial. These were all trials that were legitimately disposed of and in none of the trials was there an acquittal.”

Several times, the justices returned to the question of how many trials is enough.

Juhasz attempted to answer, by saying it’s more than one, but less than what his client is facing. He noted that Anderson has been in jail or prison for more than 11 years – with no conviction standing against him.

Anderson’s attorney John Juhasz says that strains constitutional protections of due process and against double jeopardy. 

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University