Thu June 27, 2013
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Kentucky Death Sentence Case
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of a death row inmate condemned for the kidnapping and killing of a high school honor student in western Kentucky.
The high court on Thursday granted a Kentucky prosecutor's appeal seeking to reinstate the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Keith Woodall. A jury sentenced Woodall to die for the 1997 murder of 16-year-old Sarah Hansen.
Hansen vanished on Jan. 25, 1997, after going to a store in Greenville. Her remains were later found in Luzerne Lake.
U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell overturned Woodall's death sentence in 2009, concluding that the jury was not properly instructed before sentencing and that Woodall did not get a chance to object to the dismissal of a black juror.
The case will be heard later this year or in the spring of 2014.
Woodall remains behind bars at the Kentucky State Penitentiary.