Devon Anglin appeared before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal on Thursday, when his second effort to appeal against conviction for murder was rejected.
Mr. Anglin, 32, had been convicted of murdering Carlo Webster by gunshot in the Next Level Night Club in the early hours of Sept. 10, 2009.
His previous appeal of that decision by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie was dismissed. His attorneys had argued that the trial was unfair because identification evidence was of poor quality and the two witnesses who gave evidence should not have been granted anonymity. They appeared via video link, which only the judge could see, and their voices were electronically altered.
After losing that appeal, Mr. Anglin then applied to have his case reopened on grounds he said had not been argued.
As court president Sir John Goldring observed this week, Mr. Anglin “has now completely changed his stance. He accepts he was responsible for shooting Carlo Webster.” Mr. Anglin now argued that a conviction for manslaughter should be substituted.
The appellant’s second set of grounds included the trial judge’s alleged failure to consider provocation and Mr. Anglin’s “diminished responsibility” because of a traumatic head injury sustained several years earlier.
The appeal court cited Chief Justice Smellie’s conclusion that the shooting of Mr. Webster was not a consequence of loss of self-control; it was retribution after an earlier hostile exchange.
In his verdict, the chief justice had referred to the shooting as a “gangland-style execution” and intimidation of Mr. Webster’s associates. He also found that Mr. Anglin was not suffering from any abnormality of the mind that would have impaired his mental responsibility for the murder.
On the question of whether a concluded appeal may be reopened, it was in the public interest that there should be a limit or finality to the appeal process, Justice Goldring said.
An appeal could be reopened if there had been such a procedural defect that it could lead to an injustice, he noted. In this case, there was no such defect.
Nothing Mr. Anglin had argued affected the safety of his conviction, and the public interest was overwhelmingly in favor of finality.
Mr. Anglin had been sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years before he can apply for release. He asked to appeal that sentence and the court said it should be heard separately. The appellant was advised that it would be appropriate for him to have legal advice on the matter.