Welcome

Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Court won't overturn death sentence for Woodall

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to overturn the death sentence of a man who confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Kentucky.

The justices ruled 6-3 that Robert Keith Woodall was not entitled to a new sentencing hearing despite his claim that jurors received faulty instructions.

Woodall argued that the trial judge should have told the jury not to draw any negative conclusions about his refusal to take the stand at his 1998 capital sentencing hearing.

Justice Antonin Scalia said the trial judge was under no obligation to instruct the jury about drawing adverse conclusions. Scalia acknowledged that prior Supreme Court precedents have required such instructions during the guilt phase of a criminal trial and in some cases during sentencing. But he said those decisions did not "clearly establish" a broad rule for all sentencing hearings.

Woodall pleaded guilty to kidnapping Hansen on Jan. 25, 1997, from a convenience store in western Kentucky. Woodall acknowledged that he raped the girl and slit her throat twice before taking her body to Luzerne Lake and throwing it in the water. DNA evidence, fingerprints and footprints led to Woodall.

A jury imposed a death sentence, but more than a decade later, a federal court found the jury instructions were flawed and overturned that sentence. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling in 2012.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan joined Scalia's opinion reversing the appeals court.

To overturn a death sentence, Scalia said, Woodall had to show the decision involved an "unreasonable application" of clearly established federal law. But that standard can be met "only if the error alleged is so obvious that there could be no fairminded disagreement about its existence," Scalia said.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 6f0c07cf8f1b4b5bb5f6524a6ca161f6
Top Classifieds
  • Cocker Spaniel Pups.AKC (270)476-2580 ... Details
  • FULL blooded healer pups-All shots/wo ... Details
  • ROCKY Mountain Mare - 8 yrs old - goo ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • PILLOWTOP Mattress Sets, NEW in plast ... Details
  • Lake Front Home 3,000 sq. ft., Kuttaw ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Save Money on your Mortgage! No refin ... Details
  • OPEN HOUSE Saturday/Sunday1-4pm 4BR/4 ... Details
  • 3BR/1BA brick home/3.8 acres, 2424 Gr ... Details
  • 1000 Wayside Dr 4BR, 3.5B $264,900270 ... Details
  • 24x44 Mobile Home $3,000/obo Call 270 ... Details
  • 1994 Ardmore by Clayton 16x80 Must be ... Details
  • Office/Warehouse Updated Office with ... Details
  • BASEMENT home- 550 Oak Valley Rd - Ma ... Details
  • 2012 Nissan Altima SL Coupe Nice! 28K ... Details
  • 2005 Ford Taurus, 115k miles, exc. co ... Details
  • 19'8" BASS TRACKER PRO - 27 ... Details
  • AMC SST '72 4 dr. sedan, Onlytw ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Ticks are eager to meet you
  2. On television
  3. Construction suspended to ease holiday travel
  1. Egg prices surge to record due to shortage
  2. Population of Paducah slips below 25,000
  3. Questions linger regarding Bevin for Republicans
  1. Ticks are eager to meet you
  2. On television
  3. Construction suspended to ease holiday travel
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...