Morgan v. Pepe, No. 10-1208 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendant, convicted of first degree murder in Massachusetts, exhausted state appeals. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, but circumstantial evidence included his threats to kill the victim, testimony that the victim was last seen getting into a car with defendant, and defendant’s statements indicating guilt. The district court rejected his habeas corpus petition, 28 U.S.C. 2254 petition, which was based on an argument that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court applied a beyond a reasonable doubt standard contrary to that articulated by the Supreme Court in Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (1979), in evaluating his claim that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to support his conviction or incorrectly applied the correct standard. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction.