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Officers approached and encountered the suspect entering a residence before shots were fired at officers. Copeland is a convicted felon, in custody pic. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel released the name of the suspected shooter: Morales said during a press conference than Copeland was being investigated for parole violations, possession of heroin, and domestic abuse charges when he opened fire on police officers.
Copeland, who goes by Amir Copeland on Facebook , has an open divorce case among several past criminal cases involving burglary, drugs and weapons on Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.
Just got to shooting. And not only did he hit the officer, but he hit other innocent bystanders that was in the area. I stay right there on the corner, so I actually seen everything unfold from beginning to last. It was on the next block. This is not the Milwaukee that I know. Every day — chaos. Michalski worked with the Milwaukee Police Department for 17 years before his life was cut short on July Michalski was also member of the Special Investigations Division with the MPD and court records show he was a bicycle officer last year during a case.
He loved his wife and son very much. He gave his life serving others and will be missed by everyone who knew him.
The Whitewater Police Department posted a tribute to Michalski as well, saying the department was heartbroken at the news of another fallen officer in the area. Officer Michael Michalski, a 17 year veteran, died Wednesday afternoon after being shot by a suspect in the City of Milwaukee.
The loss of our colleague is a terrible tragedy and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and co-workers. Please keep them in your prayers. Morales released an update around 6: Wednesday confirming that the officer, a year veteran of the department and friend of the chief, had died as a result of his injuries.
This is a difficult time for us. Michalski was a member of the Special Investigations Division and were looking for a man wanted on gun and drug violations, according to police. Morales said the incident unfolded after a check for a suspect became violent.
The Milwaukee County Board holds a moment of silence for the yet-unnamed Milwaukee Police officer who was killed in a north side shooting Wednesday. You can read more about Officer Mike Michalski here. It's been nearly 22 years since a Milwaukee police officer has been shot and killed while on duty. Officer Wendolyn Tanner died on Sept. On Saturday, September 7, , Officer Wendolyn Tanner was shot and killed during a foot chase of a known felon and parole violator that he and his partner were attempting to arrest.
I must be clairvoyant! No more comments found. Updated Jul 26, at 2: Published Jul 26, at 1:
Comity and diversity of state death penalty regimes present obvious difficulties, although they have not deterred rulings of sweeping effect in the past. See Stanislaus Roberts v.
Louisiana, supra; Woodson v. North Carolina, supra; Furman v. Georgia, supra, along with Proffitt v. Florida, supra, we must conclude that the U. Supreme Court has elected to allow diversity among the states to continue, at least in determining the scope of any comparative review.
Encouraging diversity among the states is, of course, a practice that comports well with the basic concept of federalism. It has been explicitly approved by the U. Supreme Court in the very setting of criminal law. New York, U. Imposition upon the states of a single design for proportionality review would represent a massive intrusion upon the integrity of state governments within the federal scheme.
We cannot assume that the United States Supreme Court would take such a step by mere implication or inadvertence.
Rather, we believe such a dramatic curtailment of state autonomy would be openly announced and most likely heralded by decisions preparing a foundation. Neither formal announcement nor suggestive precedent reveals itself in any of the post-Furman decisions. The due process clause of the fourteenth Amendment to the U. Constitution does not even require states to provide appellate review, as was indicated in Ortwein v. We find no suggestion that, where state appellate review is granted, the U.
Supreme Court has mandated any particular mode of conduct, to say less of ruling any mode unconstitutional. Likewise there is no hint that the doctrine of equal protection requires comparative review at the state level. The existence of similarly situated persons is after all a logical precondition for denial of equal protection.
As indicated above, none of the Eighth Amendment decisions following Gregg v. Georgia, supra, have imposed or suggested a preferred method of state appellate review. In the final analysis, it appears that the U. Supreme Court itself looks only to the ultimate result, which is preventing the imposition of excessive and disproportionate punishment upon the individual petitioner.
Supreme Court vacated a "disproportionate" sentence of death for the crime of rape. In its opinion, the Court made no mention of the Georgia appellate process. While the Court conducted a modified "proportionality review" of its own, the ultimate result was reached independently for, in the words of Justice White, "the Constitution contemplates that in the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment.
See also Enmund v. Another arguably disproportionate sentence was vacated in Godfrey v. Supreme Court there devoted some attention to actions by the Supreme Court of Georgia. The basis of the decision, however, was not the matter of review but the overly broad reading which Georgia had given to one of its statutory aggravating circumstances. It is thus apparent that the Eighth Amendment to the U. Constitution does not mandate any mode of appellate review, or even appellate review as such, but only an outcome.
That outcome, again, is a penalty imposed on a meaningful basis which can be sustained as neither excessive nor disproportionate in light of the crime and the defendant. We conclude from the foregoing that the contours of proportionality review, where it exists, have been left to state determination since the U.
Supreme Court has declined to impose any specific model of review upon the states. We consider such findings by the trial court to be a threshold requirement for comparative study and indeed the only foundation of "similarity" consonant with our role as an appellate court.
We recognize that in some jurisdictions and commentaries it is felt that the reviewing court should compare a given death sentence with a "universe" of cases which includes sentences of life imprisonment, acquittals, reversals and even mere indictments and arrests. Under such a regime, the reviewing court could only determine the size of its sample or "universe" by some arbitrary device. Fact findings of the trial court, by contrast, provide a fundamental line of demarcation well recognized in and even exalted by our legal tradition.
The decisive importance of such findings is evidenced by the language of Article V, section 5, South Carolina Constitution, which limits our review to "correction of errors at law" in all but equity cases. To expand the notion of a "universe" would also entail intolerable speculation by this Court. Under the South Carolina statute, a jury is not required to state its reasons for failing to recommend a sentence of death.
In a given case, the alleged aggravating circumstance may not have been proven to the satisfaction of the jury, while in another "similar case" expansively defined the statutory mitigating circumstances or some mitigating factor "otherwise authorized or allowed by law" may have deterred imposition of the death sentence.
The Court would enter a realm of pure conjecture if it attempted to compare and contrast such verdicts with an actual sentence of death. They represent acts of mercy which have not yet been held to offend the United States Constitution. Moreover, they reflect the emphasis upon individualized sentencing mandated by the Unites States Supreme Court. We will not subject these verdicts to scrutiny in pursuit of phantom "similar cases," when a meaningful sample lies ready at hand in those cases where the jury has spoken unequivocally.
Thus our prior decisions vacating and remanding death sentences for retrial must be disregarded in the course of proportionality review. Truesdale, supra; State v. James Anthony Butler, S. Adams, supra; State v. It is of no consequence that the South Carolina "universe" has consisted of only five cases to this date.
Shaw, supra, presented the first occasion for proportionality review under our current statute. We noted then that no similar cases existed, but the sentence imposed was none the less appropriate and neither "excessive" nor "disproportionate" considering the crime and the defendants. Indeed, a comparable crime involving multiple murder by two or more accomplices, in the course of armed robbery, kidnapping and rape, attended by unspeakable cruelty and mutilation, has yet to come before this Court.
Shaw, thus, constitutes a category unto itself. In like manner, the succeeding three cases of State v. Hyman, supra, State v. Gilbert, supra, and State v. Thompson, supra, proved "similar" in only the most superficial manner that is, the aggravating circumstance in each instance was armed robbery. The transcripts of these cases are public records, as pointed out in Thompson, supra, and when inspected reveal significant differences between them.
William Gibbs Hyman conspired with four other persons to rob two elderly brothers. The conspirators made their way at nightfall to the victims' home where stealth and deception were initially employed. Failing in their first foray, the conspirators applied violence. One of the victims was able to fire a shot from within before the home was stormed.
From the testimony, a jury could have concluded that the decedent was killed by a shot-gun blast fired by Hyman at close range while the victim stood disarmed. Mitigating testimony was offered by a clergyman as well as family members who related personal frustrations and tensions suffered by the defendant at some time before the killing.
In addition, the defendant himself took the stand to express his remorse. The jury recommended a sentence of death and we affirmed, considering the penalty neither excessive nor disproportionate with respect to the crime and the defendant and notwithstanding the lack of any truly "similar" case to that point in time.
Larry Gilbert and J. Gleaton, brothers of whom Gleaton is the elder, robbed and murdered the operator of a filling station shortly after noon following a morning spent cruising in their automobile in search of and possibly using drugs. In the course of the robbery, the victim was savagely stabbed seven times as he struggled with Gleaton and was shot once by Gilbert.
From the testimony, a jury could have inferred that the shot was fired while the victim lay on the floor of his business establishment. A witness testified that one of the assailants laughed at the victim in his agony, which testimony was sharply contested by defendants. Mitigating testimony was taken from a clergyman and the defendants' mother.
Gilbert and Gleaton in turn took the stand to state that they had acted on impulse and had intended no harm to the victim.
The jury recommended death sentences, and we affirmed. The cases of State v. Shaw, supra, and State v. Hyman, supra, offered no assistance by way of comparison, particularly since the latter case had involved an elaborate, multiparty scheme to rob and the use of weapons by the robbery victims. In the crime of Gilbert and Gleaton, the deceased was unarmed and could only use his hands to ward off the repeated thrusts of the knife.
We held the sentence of death to be neither excessive nor disproportionate considering the crime and the defendants.
Albert "Bo" Thompson shot and killed the proprietor of a small store in the course of a robbery. In fact the defendant shot his victim twice, the second time in the face from close range. Testimony of an accomplice indicated that the defendant, on the morning of the incident, had determined to rob someone somewhere and that one other store was reconnoitered before that of the victim was chosen. The jury was asked only to consider the defendant's age as well as a brief unsworn statement by him in the course of which he wept and asserted that the killing was an accident.
Thompson's crime differed from those of Hyman, Gilbert and Gleaton in other respects, too. The latter defendants all offered some evidence of acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while Thompson inferably acted with a clear mind and cool deliberation.
Thompson fired the fatal shots, it appears, after his accomplice left the store, whereas Hyman, Gilbert and Gleaton killed their struggling victims in the presence of others or one another. The jury could reasonably have concluded that Thompson acted alone in committing a senseless murder without even a pretext of justification. The jury recommended a sentence of death and, notwithstanding the lack of a truly "similar" case for guidance, this Court found the sentence neither excessive nor disproportionate with respect to the crime and the defendant.
In the course of proportionality review, this Court examines the record through the eyes of the sentencing authority. In the case of Thompson, however, this Court could not avoid noting that we had previously affirmed his conviction for an armed robbery occuring subsequent to this murder, one in which the defendant had again held a gun to the head of the robbery victim. We do not consider it amiss to recognize such information regarding an appellant in the course of our final proportionality review.
The remaining case of State v. Horace Butler, supra, involved the abduction, rape and murder of an eighteen-year-old girl as she left her place of employment after dark.
The defendant offered his poor record in school, his youth, and the fact that he had a small child as mitigating evidence. We affirmed the conclusion of the jury that a sentence of death was neither excessive nor disproportionate in light of the defendant's character and his wanton crime. No truly "similar" case existed for comparison, and by the same token State v. Butler, supra, offers no guidance in the review of the instant appeal.
Unlike Hyman, Gilbert, Gleaton and Thompson, appellants Copeland and Roberts were not content to terrorize and slay their victims where they found them but instead transported them to backroads execution sites.
Two of the victims were brought down by gunfire as they sought to escape. Thus wounded, they were subsequently riddled with bullets as they lay on the ground. On the body of one, a series of post-mortem stab wounds was also inflicted. Mitigating evidence for appellant Copeland was limited to the testimony of his former wife who vouched for the promptness of his alimony and child support payments.
She also stated that she had never seen him do anything cruel. More extensive mitigating testimony was offered on behalf of appellant Roberts. Family members as well as a trained psychologist revealed that Roberts had suffered an unhappy childhood, problems in school, the recent traumatic slaying of a brother, drug abuse and injuries in fights and car accidents.
Roberts was characterized as having an impulsive personality and being easily led by others. By way of the trial court's charge to the jury, Roberts received the full benefit of the relevant statutory mitigating circumstances. In the end it is probable that the jury relied on the psychologist's own statement that Robert's prognosis for "straightening up" was poor. It is our conclusion that no "similar" case exists that would permit meaningful comparative review of these death sentences.
In view of the facts set forth above, however, we are satisfied that the sentence of death imposed on each of these appellants was appropriate and neither excessive nor disproportionate in light of their crimes and their respective characters. The sentences are accordingly affirmed. It should now be clear that proportionality review in South Carolina is first and foremost directed to the particular circumstances of a crime and the specific character of the defendant.
Comparative review will be thereafter undertaken if possible. Without hazarding a prediction, we can imagine that the "universe" of similar cases will gradually expand in the fullness of time. As comparable cases arise, they will be reviewed against this background. As dissimilar circumstances may lead to affirmed sentences of death, new "classes" or types of capital cases will be added to the existing "pool.
Supreme Court, speaking through Justice White, in Gregg v. As he understood the proportionality function, it was to serve as a mechanism to monitor imposition of death sentences within "classes" or "types" of crimes, those "classes" and "types" being determined by the statutory aggravating circumstances in a given state scheme.
In a concluding passage, Justice White in essence stated the philosophy underlying our definition of "similarity" as he answered complaints that the Georgia statute permitted unconstitutional acts of discretion:. Their convictions and sentences are otherwise affirmed.
A search of the entire record reveals no other error. Copeland Annotate this Case. Next, appellants argue the trial judge erred in refusing to change venue to another county. A change of venue is addressed to the judicial discretion of the trial judge, and his decision will not be disturbed absent a showing of an abuse of that discretion.
Where the trial judge bases his ruling on adequate voir dire examination of the jurors, his conclusion that the objectivity of the jury panel has not been polluted with outside influence will not be disturbed absent extraordinary circumstances.
The instruction complained of is as follows: The presumption of innocence accompanies the defendant throughout the trial of this case and, when you go to the jury room to deliberate, it follows the defendant there with you and it entitles him to a verdict of not guilty at your hands until such time as you are convinced that the State of South Carolina has proven to your satisfaction that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
And if the state has satisfied you of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then that presumption of innocence disappears; and you would write a verdict that speaks the truth of this controversy. Use of the word "recommend" by the trial judge or solicitor is not per se suspect. To instruct the jury that it will recommend what sentence the convicted murderer will be given is not improper and does not mask the true nature of the jurors' responsibility at this phase of the trial.
With respect to the truth of the prior statement, the jury has the opportunity to observe the declarant as he may repudiate or vary his former statement, and as he is cross-examined. Thus, the jury can determine whether to believe the present testimony, the prior testimony or neither See 3A Wigmore, Evidence Chadbourn rev.
In response to Roberts' request for advice as to whether his testimony at the sentencing phase could be used against him at a new trial, the trial judge stated: I cannot tell Mr. Roberts whether to take the stand or not. Of course, as you know, if there is a new trial, that record would be admissible in another court.
Each accused, with the assistance of counsel, makes this decision [not to testify] as a part of his trial strategy. Under the first principle of ethics and justice, a defendant who secures a ruling of the court, albeit erroneous, should not be permitted to profit The solicitor's closing argument must, of course, be based upon this principle.
The argument therefore must be carefully tailored so as not to appeal to the personal bias of the juror nor be calculated to arouse his passion or prejudice. Jim was an wonderfull father and friend, let him rest in peace. Killers had no race or color, let the judge put him to trail and let people live in peace, that what jim wish too. The jail should hang them up for good… Lord! This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated.
Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated. Leggett James Copeland was married for 38 years to Oleta Copeland. February 18, at 6: Brian hjort Please leave the hate aside. February 18, at February 18, at 5: February 19, at 8: Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.
Copeland said Coult III seat belted his father into the vehicle and laid his head against the headrest. Coult also admitted to dumping evidence in Haverford Township, police said. The witnesses who brought the false charges laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul (later known as Paul, the apostle). As Stephen was stoned, he called upon Jesus to receive his spirit, and to not charge his murderers with his death. A Delaware County man is facing murder and related charges after allegedly beating and stabbing his father to death in Yeadon Borough then .