The Mennonite investigator, who was jailed for refusing to testify in a death penalty case, has reconsidered in order to help save an inmate’s life.
Greta Lindecrantz initially refused to testify about her time on the legal defense team for death row convict Robert Ray. She feared her testimony could be used to ensure Ray was put to death, which would violate her Mennonite beliefs. Judge Michelle Amico jailed Lindecrantz indefinitely for refusing to testify, arguing Ray’s appeal case could not move forward without her testimony. Lindecrantz has since reconsidered her position after her lawyers explained her silence is actually weakening Ray’s appeal case, according to The Associated Press.
“Based on this dramatic change in circumstance, she has concluded that her religious principles honoring human life now compel that she must testify,” Lindecrantz’s attorney Mari Newman wrote, according to AP.
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Ray appealed his death sentence on the grounds his initial defense team was ineffective. A judge sentenced Ray to death for the murder of Gregory Vann and his involvement in the murders of Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, in 2005. Prosecutors subpoenaed Lindecrantz to testify about the effectiveness of Ray’s defense team during his initial trial, but Lindecrantz objected on the grounds her faith forbade any participation in violence or the taking of human life.
“I feel like I was handed a gun and I was told to point it at Mr. Ray, and the gun might or might not have bullets in it, but I’d have to fire it anyway. I can’t shoot the gun. I can’t shoot the gun,” Lindecrantz told Amico during her initial refusal, according to The Colorado Independent.
Lindecrantz’s lawyers have since convinced her the testimony may actually help save Ray’s life. Ray’s current defense team was unable to comment on Lindecrantz’s change of mind due to court rules and a gag order, according to AP.
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