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Shane petition for post-conviction relief denied

WORTHINGTON -- Lisa Shane, convicted in 2006 for second-degree murder through child neglect in the death of her infant daughter, was recently denied a petition for post-conviction relief, which she has 60 days to appeal.

Post-conviction relief is a means in which someone who has been convicted of a crime can raise issues regarding the legality of their conviction. It can be used to claim ineffective assistance of counsel, or in Shane's case, to argue a significant change in a law.

In March, Shane was denied an appeal that was based on four arguments: that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction, that the district court abused its discretion by admitting evidence if the child's prior injuries, that jury instructions were insufficient and that the district court erred in imposing an upward sentencing departure.

The appellate judges disagreed with the arguments and denied the appeal.

In a sentencing memorandum, Shane's attorneys submitted the arguments that the court cannot base an upward departure on a factor already taken into account in determining the elements of the offense, that the court cannot rely on the aggravating factor of the victim's vulnerability when it is already an element of the offense, and that the court may not rely on offenses of which the defendant was not convicted when assessing a sentencing departure.

"The arguments presented by (Shane) in her post-conviction relief are precisely the same arguments presented prior to her original sentencing and during her direct appeal," Judge David Christensen's finding of fact concluded. "As there is no novel issue that would compel a different outcome than previously reached, the only issue before the Court is to ascertain whether the previous decision and holding of the District and Appellate Courts were appropriate. After reviewing the decisions, the Court is confident that the upward durational departure was based upon lawful, competent and just grounds. Accordingly, (Shane's) argument for post-conviction relief is denied."

Shane was sentenced in May 2006, and is currently incarcerated in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee. Her anticipated release date is currently set for May 2016, with another five years of supervised release.