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US Supreme Court to Hear Arizona Man's Death Penalty Case

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The U.S. Supreme Court has added five new cases to their merits docket for next term, including the death penalty case of an Arizona man convicted of killing two people 28 years ago.

At issue is whether high court rulings that have changed death penalty cases since James Erin McKinney's initial sentence should be applied to his case and other death row inmates convicted before 2002.

McKinney was sentenced to death in 1993 after being convicted of murdering a woman in her Chandler home during a March 1991 robbery and fatally shooting a man days later in another Phoenix-area robbery.

A federal appeals court overturned the sentence in 2015, ruling the Arizona Supreme Court didn't properly weigh mitigating factors.

Last September, the state's high court again upheld McKinney's death sentences.


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