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Convicted School Shooter Kip Kinkel Petitions U.S. Supreme Court

Geoff Livingston (U.S. Supreme Court)

The man serving 112 years for the 1998 Thurston High School shooting has petitioned the nation’s highest court to review his sentence. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Credit Geoff Livingston (U.S. Supreme Court) / Flickr.com

Twenty years ago, Kip Kinkel opened fire on his classmates, after murdering his parents the night before in their Springfield home. Two students were killed, and two dozen more were wounded. Kinkel was sentenced to essentially a lifetime behind bars, which his lawyers argue violates his constitutional right against cruel and inhuman punishment.

Kinkel’s new defense team, Thaddeus Betz of Bend and Marsha Levick of Philadelphia, say Kinkel deserves a chance to prove he’s reformed and matured in the time he’s spent locked up.  They contest the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Kinkel’s sentence in March.

Two recent cases may benefit Kinkel’s petition. A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case, Miller v. Alabama, struck down mandatory life sentences for two teenagers. And Montgomery v. Louisianadeclared states are constitutionally required to review similar cases retroactively.

Brian Bull, KLCC News.

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.