Court won’t revive death sentence for South Carolina inmate

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, file photo, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts...
FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, file photo, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives before President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. A divided Supreme Court on Friday, May 29, 2020, rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Roberts joined the court's four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area. (Source: Leah Millis/Pool via AP, File)(GIM)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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(AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected a plea from South Carolina to reimpose the death penalty on a South Carolina inmate whose death sentence stood for two decades until a federal appeals court threw it out in August.

Chief Justice John Roberts did not comment Friday in denying the state’s request.

The order requires the state to conduct a new sentencing hearing for inmate Sammie Stokes, if it wants jurors to sentence him again to death. Otherwise, Stokes will spend the rest of his life in prison.

He was sentenced to death in 1999 for the rape and murder of 21-year-old Connie Snipes in Orangeburg County.

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