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Kansas court upholds death sentence in 1996 slaying

•  Legal Exams     updated  2016/11/01 14:54


Kansas' highest court on Friday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a college student 20 years ago.

The Kansas Supreme Court let stand Gary Kleypas' death sentence in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of 20-year-old Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. Kleypas, 61, was the first person condemned in Kansas after it reinstated the death penalty in 1994. Kansas hasn't executed anyone in more than 50 years, although 10 men are on the state's death row.

In its 166-page ruling, the Topeka-based high court did throw out Kleypas' conviction of attempted rape and ordered him resentenced for aggravated burglary.

"Considering the errors we have found singularly and cumulatively, we hold that Kleypas' sentence of death was not imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor," Justice Marla Luckert wrote for the court's majority.

Justice Lee Johnson dissented, reiterating his view that the death penalty is unconstitutionally cruel or unusual punishment.



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