Sunday, April 20, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court backs death penalty for killer of Kansas sheriff

By The Herald Staff | 12/11/2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously vacated a Kansas state court decision that had overturned the conviction and death sentence of Scott Cheever.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt argued the case before the high court in October.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday unanimously vacated a Kansas state court decision that had overturned the conviction and death sentence of Scott Cheever.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt argued the case before the high court in October.

Cheever was convicted of capital murder for the January 2005 killing of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels, and was sentenced to death in 2007. The Kansas Supreme Court later found that the state violated Cheever’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and overturned the conviction. The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday said there was no Fifth Amendment violation.

“We hold that where a defense expert who has examined the defendant testifies that the defendant lacked the requisite mental state to commit a crime, the prosecution may offer evidence from a court-ordered psychological examination for the limited purpose of rebutting the defendant’s evidence,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the court’s unanimous opinion.

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