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Court Skeptical of Reversal in Sheriff’s Killing

Associated Press - October 16, 2013 5:55 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed the "Hard 50" murder sentence of a Wichita man but refused to rule whether changes made by legislators to the law in 2013 can be applied.

The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed the "Hard 50" murder sentence of a Wichita man but refused to rule whether changes made by legislators to the law in 2013 can be applied.

The Supreme Court doesn’t seem likely to agree with a Kansas court that overturned the conviction of a man who admitted killing a sheriff.

The justices Wednesday seemed skeptical of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said Scott Cheever’s rights were violated at his trial for the 2005 shooting death of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels. Cheever was sentenced to die for the killing.

The conviction was set aside when the state court said a psychiatrist should not have been allowed to testify about Cheever’s psychological records without his consent. Several justices did not seem impressed with that decision, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor at one point asking Cheever’s lawyer if he had a preference in how the Supreme Court would rule against him.

A decision is expected early next year.

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