CRIME: By the Sword

John Deering, 39, had spent 17 years in jail and hated it. When he was arrested in Hamtramck, Mich., last July as a robbery suspect, Michigan authorities wanted to jail him again. But John Deering (who had shot his way to freedom once before) rather than take a 15-year jail sentence in Michigan confessed to the murder of Oliver R. Meredith Jr. in a robbery at Salt Lake City two months before. Extradited to Utah and tried for first-degree murder, he stolidly maintained that he was a habitual criminal, would be better dead. The judge agreed. Utah law gave him...

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