High Court Spares Murderer from Death Sentence

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court spared a convicted murderer from execution by upholding a decision that he is mentally retarded.

Steven Parkus was serving a 30-year sentence for rape and sodomy when he was convicted of strangling another inmate in 1985 and sentenced to death.

But in 2001, Missouri barred the execution of the mentally retarded. The next year, the U-S Supreme Court declared it's unconstitutional to execute the mentally retarded.

Attorneys for Parkus argued he was mentally retarded and should be re-sentenced to life in prison. A trial court agreed, and the state Supreme Court upheld that decision.

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