The State Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction and death sentence of Joplin resident Gary Black. Black wanted to represent himself in his trial in 1999 for the death of a man after an argument . The Supreme Court has ordered a new trial once before for Black. The retrial was held a year ago and he was again convicted and sentenced to death with the judge again denying his request to represent himself.
The Supreme Court says the second trial court made a mistake by assuming an appointed lawyer could do better representing Black than Black could do representing himself. The ruling means Black will get a second new trial.