Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Vengeful Heart

Chaper One
Excerpt: 13

Since then, Richard Schmidt has vigorously pursued his appeals on various grounds. In the summer of 2000, his attorney Herbert Larson argued before Louisianas 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal that the state had tried to prove his client guilty by character assassination. The panel upheld Schmidts conviction late in July of 2000.

Dr. Schmidt and wife upset after the conviction   (The Advertiser)
Dr. Schmidt and wife upset after
the conviction
(The Advertiser)
His victims medical outlook is uncertain, but in an ironical way remains a topic of paramount concern to Schmidt. Under the doctrine of double jeopardy, a defendant can only be tried once for a criminal act. So if Janice Trahan were to die from her viral infections, Dr. Schmidt could not be retried for her murder.

However, if Dr. Schmidts appeal succeeds, his case would be remanded to the original court in Lafayette, where prosecutors will have the option of re-indicting and re-trying him. If in the meantime Janice Trahan does die from AIDS or hepatitis C, then the DA will be free to consider homicide charges.

Richard Schmidt, although he still protests his innocence, must be careful what he wishes for.


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