Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial rapist and murderer appeals death sentence, says jury was motivated by media

Brianna DenisonAttorneys for James Biela, the man convicted of the 2008 murder of pretty coed Brianna Denison, argued Biela’s appeal Monday saying that the killer was unjustly given the death sentence. The Republic reports that Biela’s lawyers argued that the jury’s decision was influenced by passion fueled by an “avalanche of news coverage, the huge volume of secret witness reports generated over time, the public blue ribbons’ campaign in Brianna’s name and the Bring Bri Justice Foundation work.” Prosecutors argued that there was no indication of such prejudice, and that jury selection was thorough. Prosecutors further argued that there were no errors in the trial to justify an appeal.

Denison, 19, was home visiting a friend on winter break. She was abducted from her friend’s apartment in Reno, Nevada, while sleeping on the downstairs couch. Read the case from the beginning.

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