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Homicide Conviction Overturned by Archaic Law


— September 5, 2004

A homicide conviction for a 24-year-old Green Bay [WI] man in the 1996 beating of a man has been dropped, based on a little-known and archaic law.

Dustin Teller is serving a prison sentence for the beating of 37-year-old John Jackson outside a Green Bay tavern in September 1996. When Jackson died in June of 1999, having been in a vegetative state after the beating until his death, Teller was charged with homicide. Teller pleaded no contest to the charge in October 2000.

The �year-and-a-day� law states that if a victim survives more than 366 days, it can be �conclusively presumed that the injury did not cause the death.�

The law dates back about 800 years to the common-law era and went in effect when Wisconsin was a territory. The little-known rule was discovered during the appeal process by the late Howard Eisenberg, dean of Marquette University Law School.

Details here from the Green Bay Press-Gazette.


A homicide conviction for a 24-year-old Green Bay [WI] man in the 1996 beating of a man has been dropped, based on a little-known and archaic law.

Dustin Teller is serving a prison sentence for the beating of 37-year-old John Jackson outside a Green Bay tavern in September 1996. When Jackson died in June of 1999, having been in a vegetative state after the beating until his death, Teller was charged with homicide. Teller pleaded no contest to the charge in October 2000.

The �year-and-a-day� law states that if a victim survives more than 366 days, it can be �conclusively presumed that the injury did not cause the death.�

The law dates back about 800 years to the common-law era and went in effect when Wisconsin was a territory. The little-known rule was discovered during the appeal process by the late Howard Eisenberg, dean of Marquette University Law School.

Details here from the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

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