S-12-0893, State v. Mohamed Said Abdulkadir (Appellant)
Lancaster County, Judge Steven Burns
Attorneys: James R. Mowbray, Kelly S. Breen (Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy) (Appellant) --- Kimberly A. Klein (Attorney General’s Office)
Criminal: 2nd degree murder; use of a weapon to commit a felony
Proceedings below: Appellant was found guilty by jury verdict of the two crimes. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for 2nd degree murder and a consecutive term of 15 to 25 years in prison for use of a weapon.
Issues: 1. The trial court erred in refusing appellant's requested Instruction that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt That the appellant did not act in a state of passion upon Sudden provocation.2. The trial court plainly erred by instructing the jury in a step instruction that required the jury to acquit appellant of 2nd degree murder before deliberating on the elements of manslaughter as manslaughter is not a lesser included offense of 2nd degree murder and the jury should have been given instruction to deliberate upon the elements of both crimes with the option of conviction upon manslaughter. 3. The trial court erred in allowing the admission of cumulative gruesome autopsy photographs depicting the same injuries allowing the prosecution to inflame the Passions of the jurors. 4. The sentencing court erred in imposing a "life to life" sentence for 2nd degree murder as such sentence is in all practicality a determinate sentence which invades and usurps the province of the legislature in defining criminal liability and the classification of punishment.