The Sixth Circuit Hears House Case Again
In a surprise move, a three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals gathered in Nashville today to consider an appeal filed by Paul House which claims that the state should by barred from re-trying the case. House’s federal defender, Steve Kissinger, argued that the state is not in compliance with Judge Mattice’s December 7, 2007 order which asserted that House should be retried or released in 180 days. Today marked 180 days since that December decision. The court is also considering whether or not House should be released if the case is remanded back to district court for further consideration.
The state argued vigorously against barring retrial and that the Sixth Circuit did not have the authority to grant House’s release since House is now in state custody and is unable to make bail. In an ironic twist, Jennifer Smith of the Attorney General’s office asked that the court deny this appeal as she was concerned that its consideration might delay the resolution of the case. After the state has denied House relief for 23 years by playing games with the courts, now it has the audacity to claim that the defense is dragging its feet.