Constitutional Law

Appeals court OKs 111 years for teen who killed 4, shot 25; lawyer calls him 'completely harmless'

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An Oregon man who fatally shot his parents and two high school classmates and wounded 25 others at the school cafeteria when he was 15 years old can’t further challenge his prison sentence of nearly 112 years, a state appeals court says.

After the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama earlier this year, counsel for Kipland Kinkel argued that the effective life sentence was barred under the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual, the Oregonian reports.

However, the Oregon Court of Appeals, which on Wednesday affirmed the sentence of 111 years and eight months, disagreed. It said state law bars Kinkel, now 33, from raising again an Eighth Amendment argument he made in a prior appeal, before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“In his original state appeal, the state public defender made a one-sentence Eighth Amendment argument in a footnote, that the sentence was disproportionate with the crime,” Andy Simrin, a lawyer for Kinkel, told the newspaper. “The argument now is different because the legal analysis is different under Miller.”

Simrin said his client plans to appeal today’s decision to the Oregon Supreme Court. He also said Kinkel, if he is taking appropriate medicine for his schizophrenia, is “completely harmless.”

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Shooter who killed teen, injured teacher at Oregon school got his weapons at home, police chief says”

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