Death penalty retrial scheduled for Angela Johnson

KIMT News 3 – A new trial date is set for a north Iowa woman sentenced to death in the 1993 murders of five people.

Angela Johnson, of Forest City, was sentenced to death in 2005, but that death penalty sentence was thrown out by a federal judge in 2012.  In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett stated there were deficiencies in Johnson’s legal representation.  His ruling did not affect Johnson’s conviction of helping Dustin Honken commit the murders, but it does require a retrial to determine if the death penalty is appropriate, or if she should be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Federal court documents show today Bennett met via phone with attorneys for the defense and prosecution, and determined that jury selection would begin on Monday, August 11, with a trial date tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 2.

What jury members hear in this trial is yet to be determined.  The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last Thursday about what evidence should be admitted.  The appeals court has yet to issue a ruling on that.

Tune in to KIMT News 3 at 5 and 10 to hear some of the arguments presented in Thursday’s hearing.

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