The execution of prison inmate Roderick Nunley has been cancelled. The state supreme court has not withdrawn its execution warrant for Nunley, who was to be executed early this morning. But it is acknowledging that a federal judge’s stay of execution will hold. The United States Supreme Court refused to lift the stay last night.
The state supreme court has decided to hear arguments in January on claims by Nunley’s lawyer that Nunley should not be under a death sentence because a jury did not recommend it. Nunley pleaded guilty and accepted sentencing without a jury in 1991 for the kidnap, rape, and murder of a Kansas City girl two years earlier. Since then, rulings in other states have held that judges cannot sentence people to death without a jury recommendation. [Missourinet]