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'Jenny Jones Show' Killer's Conviction Overturned

Court Cites Judge's Error in a Singular Juror's Choice

'Humiliated' Homophobe Deliberately Shot His Gay Admirer

By Jack Nichols

schmitz2.gif - 9.80 KJonathan Schmitz, a homophobic killer, has had his second-degree murder conviction overturned by a Michigan Court of Appeals. The 3-judge Court ruled that Schmitz, who shot Scott Amedure in the doorway of Amedure's mobile home, had been improperly denied the right to remove a singular juror prior to the onset of his trial.

Schmitz was reportedly humiliated during a 1995 Chicago taping of the Jenny Jones Show, he said, when Amedure had revealed a secret crush he'd had on the man who would later murder him. Schmitz complained he'd been under the impression that the revelation of a "secret crush" would be forthcoming from a woman.

Convicted of the second degree murder charge, Schmitz was sentenced in 1996 to a prison term that was to last between 25 and 50 years

amedure2.gif - 10.47 KJury selection had taken three days. Not until the final day, Schmitz's Oakland County prosecutors insist, did the killer's lawyer's object to the juror in question. By that time, they said, it was no longer possible to remove him. Francis X. O'Brien, the presiding judge, agreed that the jury as it was constituted was apropos and that the said juror's removal was unnecessary.

The Michigan Court of Appeals, however, ruled that Schmitz's lawyers should have been able to remove a juror at any point during the selection process.

jenny3.gif - 6.28 K"We hold that it is impossible for this court to find that the trial court's error was harmless," the Appeals Court opinion said. "Consequently, we reluctantly conclude that, under the circumstances presented here, reversal of defendant's convictions is required.'"

E-mails from the American gay community protesting the Michigan Appeals Court's verdict have already reached GayToday's offices. A typical reaction reads:

"This egregious act against a gay man, whose life is apparently once again worth less than that of a hetero, should have earned Schmitz the death penalty. Instead, he will now probably go free.

"If the freedom of this monster is not enough to make any gay man vomit, I don't know what is."

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