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Olsen v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming
67 P.3d 536 (2003)


Olsen (defendant) robbed a bar after ordering two customers to lie down on the floor. Olsen then instructed the bartender to lie on the floor and proceeded to shoot and kill all three people. Olsen then went to a nearby convenience store to buy gas for his car, but fled when the clerk mentioned the presence of police in the area. Olsen was apprehended shortly thereafter, confessed to the killings, and was charged with premeditated first degree murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery. After the jury convicted Olsen on all counts, a separate hearing was held pursuant to Wyoming Statute §6-2-102 regarding imposition of the death penalty. At this hearing, Olsen offered fifteen circumstances mitigating his culpability, which he claimed were established and not refuted by the State (plaintiff). The judge instructed the jury that it might at its discretion determine whether Olsen had established any mitigating circumstances. The jury found that there were four circumstances which aggravated Olsen’s guilt; that there were no mitigating circumstances; and that Olsen should receive the death penalty. Olsen appealed the convictions and the death sentence to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Golden, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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