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Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge To Confession Use in Murder Case

The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in the case of a murder-for-hire ordered by the onetime leader of a violent international crime ring. The justices will review the case of Adam Samia, who is serving a life sentence for killing a real estate broker in the Philippines. Samia acted for Paul LeRoux, a South African who led the crime organization and cooperated with federal authorities after his arrest in 2012, prosecutors said. LeRoux ordered the killing of the broker, Catherine Lee, because he believed Lee had stolen money from him.

Samia’s lawyers challenge prosecutors’ use of a confession made by another man, a co-defendant in his murder trial, that they say implicated Samia in violation of his constitutional rights, the Associated Press reports. The co-defendant did not testify in his own defense, so Samia’s lawyers could not question him.

The Supreme Court has previously imposed limits on the use of a confession in these circumstances, including that the defendant’s name must be removed. Samia’s lawyers argue that, even with the redactions, the confession still pointed unmistakably and unfairly at him. Samia has denied any involvement in the killing and his lawyers say no physical evidence links him to the crime. Samia was one of three men convicted in Lee’s murder.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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