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US Supreme Court reinstates Arizona inmate’s death sentence

December 15, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for an Arizona prison inmate convicted of killing a man during a 1994 robbery in Yavapai County, state prosecutors said Tuesday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had sided with George Kayer in his claim that his lawyers made a mistake by not presenting some evidence during his sentencing.

The appeals court concluded that Kayer was entitled to a new sentencing trial even though Arizona courts had consistently denied it.

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday reiterates the law that requires federal courts to defer to state court decisions under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said.

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There are more than 100 death row inmates currently being housed in Arizona, but the state hasn’t carried out an execution since July 2014.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the state settled a lawsuit challenging its lethal injection procedures five months ago, putting Arizona one step closer to resuming executions.

Kayer has exhausted all of his appeals, according to authorities.