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Court rejects Ga. inmate's raunchy gift appeal

5:25 PM, Sep 20, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A federal appeals court has rejected a Georgia death row inmate's claims that he didn't receive a fair trial because a juror sent raunchy shaped chocolates to the judge and bailiff.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of Marcus Wellons, who was convicted in 1993 of raping and strangling his 15-year-old neighbor.

The unanimous opinion says Wellons' case has been "seriously and thoroughly considered" by state and federal courts at every level and concluded that he received a fair trial by an impartial jury. The ruling says, despite the "tasteless and inappropriate" gifts, Wellons doesn't deserve a new trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 set aside a lower court's ruling upholding the death sentence to allow a review of the gifts.

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