Death-row inmate Roderick Nunley has been spared lethal injection on a Supreme Court decision at the eleventh hour, but the Attorney General says he’ll continue to pursue the case until justice is carried out.
Roderick Nunley abducted, raped and stabbed 15-year-old Ann Harris to death while she waited for a school bus in 1989. He confessed to the crime. For that, Attorney General Chris Koster says he should be put to death. Nunley asked for a judge to sentence him instead of a jury. The judge handed down the death sentence in 1991. Koster says the U.S. Supreme Court said only a jury could hand down a death sentence … but that was after Nunley got exactly what he asked for.
Koster says the Missouri Supreme Court agreed with him, but the problem is that it didn’t say in detail why it agreed with him.
The Missouri Surpreme court has decided to take up the case again through January.
Koster’s been studying other cases, and says there are some cases, such as the 2002 Ring versus Arizona case, that have been retroactive, but says, “We do not believe this is one of them, we think we stand on pretty solid ground on this.”
“In fact, not 24 hours ago, the Missouri Supreme Court agreed with us,” he told the Missourinet Wednesday. “The problem in the case is that the Missouri Supreme Court didn’t flesh out in great detail why it was agreeing with us, so the Federal Courts were concerned as to whether or not the Missouri Supreme Court had thoroughly thought its way through the process, that complication is what has stopped and stayed this execution.”