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Louisiana Murder Case:
Lewis, Debra F. v. United States

Appealed From: U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
Subject: Criminal Law

Argued: Nov. 12, 1997

Decided: March 9, 1998
Vote: 8-1

At Issue: Whether the plaintiff was properly charged and convicted for the murder of her four-year-old stepdaughter under the Assimilative Crimes Act and the Louisiana child murder statute. If she was not, was the sentence proper?

Decision: The justices decided by an 8-1 vote to affirm Lewis' conviction. They ruled that the jury, by convicting Lewis on the state charge, had also found her guilty of the necessary actions to be convicted of second-degree murder under federal law.

Read the full text of the Lewis v. United States decision at the Findlaw Internet Legal Resources Web site.

Sources: The Washington Post, Supreme Court, The United States Law Week (a Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. publication)

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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