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Last updated: August 24. 2013 2:50AM - 201 Views

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CINCINNATI — A man sentenced to death for his role in a 2002 double murder has appealed his case to the final court that actually has to hear his arguments. After losing his appeal in U.S. District Court last month, Jeronique Cunningham filed an appeal this month with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That court is the last court that actually has to consider the case through briefs and arguments in the courtroom.Should Cunningham’s legal team fail to convince the court to overturn his sentence or conviction, he would have few choices left, including a request to the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case. That court can turn it down without a hearing.Cunningham also could appeal to the governor for clemency.Cunningham, who today is 38, remains on Ohio’s death row where he was sentenced for the 2002 murders of Leneshia Williams, 17, and Jala Grant, 3, who he and his half brother, Cleveland Jackson, were convicted of killing. The two men also were convicted of other charges for attempting to kill six other people execution-style inside an Eureka Street apartment. The brothers were at the apartment to rob a man of drugs and money.Everyone inside the apartment was shot, and six of the eight were shot in the head. Four of those survived shots.The appeal at the 6th Circuit could take up to several years to play out.Jackson, who today is 32, was sentenced to death in both cases, but a court threw out one of the death sentences and ordered Jackson be resentenced without the option for the death penalty. He received a life sentence. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Jackson’s attorneys should have been allowed to question potential jurors on how they felt about a person who kills a 3-year-old child and what penalty that person should receive.An appeal in Jackson’s case was filed with the 6th Circuit in 2008 and the case remains pending in that court. You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.



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