Wisconsin man’s conviction overturned in appeals court

Mark Jensen was found guilty and received a lifetime sentence in 2008 for the murder of his wife by poisoning. This past week, however, he won an appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and his murder conviction was overturned. The panel ruled that a handwritten note from Jensen’s alleged victim, Julie Jensen, in which she instructed investigators to look at her husband “if anything happen[ed] to [her],” was improperly accepted into evidence in Jensen’s first trial as it violated constitutional rights for individuals on trial to face their accusers.

Julie Jensen’s death was originally classified as suicide after her body was found in the home she shared with her husband and two sons back in 1998. Mark Jensen was later accused of the murder and the case went to trial nine years after the death took place. Though his defense stated that Julie Jensen had framed her husband before killing herself, the prosecutors contended that he murdered her in an attempt to accommodate his mistress.

The Wisconsin Justice Department has 90 days to determine whether they will release Jensen or attempt another trial. He currently awaits their decision in the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin.