The State Supreme Court has lifted the death sentences against a Columbia man accused of three murders. The court rules that DeAndra Buchanan should not be under a death sentence because a jury did not recommend execution. The court says a judge cannot sentence someone to death unless a jury recommends it. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane, who prosecuted the case against Buchanan, says Judge Gene Hamilton acted properly under the standards three years ago. Hamilton sentenced Buchanan to death after a jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of execution. It takes all 12 votes for a jury recommendation in capital punishment cases. Crane says the representatives of the families are disappointed and upset by the ruling. Buchanan killed his stepfather, aunt, and the girlfriend who was the mother of his two children on election night, 2000 in Columbia.
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