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State v. Poe

441 P.2d 512 (1968)

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State v. Poe

Utah Supreme Court

441 P.2d 512 (1968)

Facts

The State of Utah (plaintiff) charged Roy Lee Poe (defendant) with the murder of Kenneth Hall. At trial, the state introduced gruesome color autopsy photographs depicting the victim’s skull and skull cavity after the brain had been removed. The photographs also showed two metal probes stuck inside the victim’s head in order to trace the paths of the bullets. This picture was introduced to demonstrate that Hall was shot while lying in bed, a fact that had already been demonstrated by uncontradicted testimony. The jury convicted Poe and did not recommend life in prison, leading the trial court to assess the death penalty. Poe appealed on the ground that the autopsy photographs were improperly admitted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Callister, J.)

Dissent (Ellett, J.)

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