The State Supreme Court has vacated one of the death sentences against prison inmate Andrew Lyons . His second death sentence remains.
A jury convicted Lyons in 1996 of murdering his girlfriend and her mother. It also convicted him of manslaughter in the death of his son.
The jury recommended a death sentence for Lyons in the death of the girlfriend’s mother but could not agree on a death penalty recommendation for the death of the girlfriend. The judge, however, sentenced Lyons to death twice.
The State Supreme Court says the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that a judge cannot sentence someone to death unless a jury recommends the punishment. For that reason, the State Court has vacated the death sentence made without a jury recommendation and has re-sentenced Lyons to life without parole in that killing.
The other death sentence, handed down with a jury’s recommendation, remains.