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Temple Massacre Retrial Ends in Mistrial



A mistrial was declared in the retrial of Johnathan Doody, who's been accused of massacring nine people at a Buddhist temple more than 20 years ago.

Jurors had been deliberating for nearly two weeks in the retrial, which came about the conviction was overturned in federal court several years ago, on the grounds that police coerced a confession out of Doody after the 1991 murders, when he was 17 years old.

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Doody and another teenager were convicted of murdering six Buddhist monks, a nun, and two apprentice monks at the Wat Promkunaram Temple in Waddell, which is on the western edge of civilization in the Valley.

Although a coerced confessional might seem like a tired technicality to some, consider this: Before Doody and his pal were arrested in the murders, Maricopa County sheriff's detectives arrested four innocent men -- the "Tucson four" -- in the case, after coercing confessions out of them.

Still, Doody will go to trial in the case yet again. A court spokesman says the next court date is a status conference on Halloween.

According to an Associated Press account, there was one juror was refusing to deliberate in the case after making up her mind, leading to the mistrial.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley