High court denies appeal from Miss. inmate

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Mississippi inmate William Joseph Holly.

Holly was one of five Mississippi death row inmates saved from lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that it's unconstitutional to execute those who committed capital offenses when they were younger than 18.

Holly was 17 when police say he robbed and murdered a Grenada cab driver.

In 2008, Holly was re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Holly appealed the sentence imposed in Grenada County, saying life without parole was not an option when he killed the cab driver in 1992. Holly wanted to be resentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

A federal judge in Mississippi and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled against Holly. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear his case.

The 5th Circuit said last December that the law as written when Holly committed his capital offense provided that if the death penalty was found to be unconstitutional then the offender would be resentenced to life without parole.

The 5th Circuit said when the U.S. Supreme Court found the death sentence was unconstitutional for people under 18 when their crime was committed Holly was properly resentenced to life without parole under Mississippi law.

Published: Thu, Apr 19, 2012


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